The First Aider's Role
Your goal in learning first aid is to give care to someone suffering from an injury or medical emergency until trained medical help can arrive.
A bystander is someone like you who recognizes an emergency and decides to help. Ideally, everyone would know what to do in an emergency and everyone would know first aid; the immediate care given to a victim of injury or sudden illness until advanced care is obtained.
Becoming involved in emergency situations, where you may be the only one who can help, is very important. Don't worry that you might make a mistake; you can always help in some way, even if it's only calling for help. The thing to remember is that first aid can make the difference between life and death. And it often makes the differences between complete recovery and permanent disability.
As a first aider, your role consists of four basic steps:
- Recognize an Emergency - A medical emergency is a sudden illness that requires immediate medical attention e.g. a heart attack. An injury is damage to the body e.g. broken arm, that results from a violent force. Some injuries can be serious enough to be considered emergencies.
- Decide to Act - Bystanders need to get involved in emergency situations, and many lives are saved because people like you do get involved.
- Call EMS
- Give First Aid - Until the EMS is on the scene, you need to provide all the care you can to the person in need.