A rudimentary knowledge of first aid can save a life. Illustrate the skills and the importance of first-hand knowledge with a hands-on activity that transcends textbook learning. Recreate potential real-life emergency situations and have students try to handle them. Assemble first aid kits and discuss, in detail, the value of each item. Distribute knowledge beyond the classroom with handmade first aid guides. Learn how to save a life with CPR training. The opportunities to reinforce first aid education are endless.
Establish a sequence of emergencies along a given route. This can take place along the perimeter of a classroom if necessary, but it is best conducted outdoors. Along the route, have several different people suffering from a variety of ailments that require first aid knowledge to treat. Different areas could include someone suffering from poisoning, bone fractures, burns, ankle sprains, minor and major cuts, and someone who is choking.
In each area, have a variety of materials that might be used to properly care for the victim. Make sure to include some erroneous supplies to distract and confuse participants. Each student or group of students should be evaluated on their ability to determine the situation, follow proper procedures and address the issue.
Assemble First Aid Kits
Supply the case and a variety of materials that are needed and not needed in an effective first aid kit. Allow students to assemble their own kits with whatever materials they desire. Immediately after they are finished, announce an emergency situation in another room and have the students tend to the emergency. Have students evaluate their choices and determine whether or not they had the proper materials, and what their selections should have been.
First Aid Guides
Many people learn best when teaching. After instructing the class in various first aid techniques, have students assemble a detailed, illustrated first aid guide.
They should describe how to properly identify situations and treat different medical emergencies. The instructional guide should include lists of needed supplies, step-by-step instructions and illustrations. Include a glossary at the end with important phone numbers and definitions of vocabulary terms such as sprain, fracture, asphyxiation and laceration.
Adults, children, infants and animals all require different methods of CPR. Train students the various steps for one or more of these categories and use plastic dummies to practice on.
If possible, schedule an American Red Cross instructor to teach a course at your facility. The American Red Cross offers nationally recognised certifications for students who complete their CPR courses.
There are many websites that offer first aid simulation activities. For example, the BBC website (bbc.co.uk/health/first_aid/first_aid_non_flash/index.shtml) has a series of detailed activities that cover broad emergency topics, including accident scene recreation, electrocution, head injuries, nose bleeds and resuscitation.