SJA – OFA Training – Day 1

As previously promised, I’m going to going to post updates in regards to my Operational First Aid training with St John Ambulance and today was Day 1 of 4 for the training.

For me it started with a early start, due to COVID19 most of the SJA buildings are closed which meant that I had to travel to Cambridge to do the training, so I had to get a train just after 7am to make sure I was there in plenty of time.

As part of the restrictions, temperature checks are in place before you can enter the building.

I got to meet the team completing the training who are actually also part of my unit I am attached to in Peterborough!

The day then started off with an overview of the role of a First Aider with SJA.

To kick off the training, Incident Management was covered with covered the areas you need to be aware of.

We also learnt this first acronym ASEGA

  • Asses
  • Make Safe
  • Give Emergency Aid
  • Get Help
  • Deal with the Aftermath

Following on from this, we then covered Communication & Casualty Care which includes listening to the patient, looking for signs & symptoms, looking after yourself and much more.

As always, PPE is very important in first aid including using gloves, aprons and sleeve protectors where needed and barriers against contamination.

Now, with COVID19 it shows, even more, how important that PPE is to everyone to ensure that you protect yourself.

This then lead onto Infection Prevention & Control.

On e of the key parts of this is your hand hygiene ensuring that hands and fingernails are kept clean, insuring any breaks in your skin is covered, wearing gloves, when washing your hands making sure you use liquid soap and not bars of soap and using alcohol gel.

Another area was the key 5 stages for hand hygiene:

  1. Before patient contact
  2. Before a clean / aseptic procedure
  3. after body fluid exposure risk
  4. After patient contact
  5. After contact with patient surroundings

We then also learnt how to correctly clean your hands, of which has also been a major focus at the moment due to COVID19.  Normally they would use die on your hand to show if you are cleaning your hands correctly, but due to the current circumstances, this isn’t possible to ensure that contact with people including the trainers is kept to a minimum.

There was also information given on hand hygiene, using sanitising hand-rub and much more.

After this, we then learnt about Waste Disposal including sharps.

Now, it was time for a short break after alot of Theory, don’t worry we then went on to some practical for the rest of the day but there was also so much theory still to learn!

After our break to get a rest from so much theory, it was time to learn about the Primary Survey and chain of survival.

Of course, a major factor in giving first aid, is to ensure that it is safe for yourself, your patient and anyone else around.  You want to ensure that anything you do won’t result in you becoming a victim as well.

The next practical session covered how to move the head to help with a blocked airway along with putting the patient into the recovery position.

By the time this was done, we then took a break for lunch.

After lunch, we had some more practice which included doing a head to toe survey, which helps to look for any blood, irregularities, and any pain responses.

We then learned about respiration rates and how to look for this, taking a pulse and pupil examination.

We then covered the paperwork side of the role and how to complete a PRF (Patient Report Form) correctly.

Following this, we then went into 3 groups to look at some areas of giving first aid, including signs to look for, responses and what you should do,

What a day, along with this so much to take in as well but so far, it was a great session and I look forward to doing the rest of the training,