First Aid Certification: Beyond the Basics

At the end of the day, your first aid certification is only as good as your ability to apply it. That's why this course includes a mix of lessons on basic CPR and injury treatment with information that will help you assess environmental hazards and care for patients with special medical needs.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that involves pushing on the chest and breathing into the person's mouth. It can be performed on adults, children and infants.

  • We recommend that all individuals learn CPR.
  • It is estimated that two million Americans suffer from sudden cardiac arrest each year--and 80 percent die before reaching the hospital because no one knows how to perform CPR or AEDs (automated external defibrillators).

Injury treatment

When it comes to treating wounds, here are the basics:

  • Use a clean cloth or bandage to stop bleeding.
  • Bandage the wound.
  • Keep the wound elevated above the heart if possible and continue to monitor for signs of infection (redness, swelling) or bleeding that doesn't stop easily with pressure. Don't try to remove any objects that are embedded in the wound; instead call an ambulance or go straight to an emergency room if necessary. If there's no immediate threat of shock (you're not dizzy or having trouble breathing), wait until medical help arrives before attempting removal yourself--it could cause more damage than good!

Bloodborne pathogens

  • Bloodborne pathogens are bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted through blood.
  • To protect yourself, use personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling blood and bodily fluids. Wearing gloves and a face mask is recommended when dealing with anything that may contain BHBV.
  • To protect others from getting infected, wash your hands before leaving the room or taking breaks so that you don't spread any germs to others in the area.

Environmental hazards

In addition to the standard first aid techniques, there are some situations that may require additional knowledge. Here are some tips on how you can handle these scenarios:

  • Fire: If you see a fire, call 911 immediately and then follow these steps:
  • Move away from the flames as quickly as possible. If you can't escape without putting yourself in harm's way, use a blanket or towel to cover yourself from any smoke inhalation while waiting for help to arrive.
  • Once outside of danger (or if there is no immediate threat), attempt to extinguish any remaining flames with water or sand; do not use foam extinguishers unless specifically instructed by authorities because they could cause more damage than good by spreading burning embers around an area. Flooding/Earthquake: You should always have an emergency kit ready in case of flooding or earthquakes--and it doesn't hurt to keep one in one room at all times just in case! These kits should include items such as waterproof matches (for fires), flashlights with extra batteries (so they don't die on you when needed most), whistles (to signal for help), tarps/blankets/rope(to protect yourself from rainstorms), shovels/pails(for digging out after major flooding)

Assessment and care for an unconscious patient

  • Check the unconscious person's airway, breathing and pulse. If they are not breathing, begin CPR immediately.
  • If the patient is conscious but drowsy or confused, ask them questions such as "What month is it?" or "What is your name?" to assess their mental state.

Safety and first aid for children

When caring for a child who has been injured, it's important to remember that children are more fragile than adults and need special care. When you're administering first aid, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Use caution when moving an injured child. If you can't get help from another adult or older sibling, gently pick up your child by placing one hand under their armpits and another on their back while supporting their head and neck with your arm around them. Do not lift them by their limbs or try to carry them over long distances until they're fully conscious again (which may take several hours).
  • Children often experience seizures after being injured; if yours does, hold them securely so they don’t hurt themselves during the seizure but don't try any other treatment unless directed by an emergency responder who knows what he's doing--and even then only if they give specific instructions! Always call 911 immediately after seeing any signs of injury on a child; do not wait until they stop seizing before calling because this could cause further harm or even death.


As a first aid instructor, I've seen many instances where people have been saved by quick thinking and basic knowledge of first aid. This is especially true in remote areas where help may be delayed or unavailable. If you are ever in an emergency situation, it's important to know what to do. The following tips can help keep you safe:

  • Be prepared for the unexpected! Familiarize yourself with the emergency numbers in your area and keep them handy at all times (in case of a medical emergency).
  • It's also vital to learn how to care for an unconscious person and treat bleeding wounds before they become life threatening injuries.


First aid is an essential skill, not limited to medical professionals. Whether it's safeguarding your family at home or providing assistance at work, being equipped to handle emergencies is invaluable. While hands-on training with an instructor is the most effective way to learn first aid basics, if this option isn't available or if you seek additional information, our guide aims to provide helpful insights.

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