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In our experience people attending first aid training are often initially reluctant participants, this is in many cases due to the fears and concerns that people have regarding the administration of first aid. Addressing these fears and showing how easily these fears can be removed, makes the rest of the training much easier to understand and enjoy.
The first fear people have is the fear of being sued. Many countries have a "Good Samaritan Act" or similar law which protects first aiders of all levels from unnecessary lawsuits. As long as you act within your training, ask permission to help, don't leave the patient unless you have to alert the EMS, and act as a normal prudent person would do.
Fear of infection from blood and other bodily fluids. These infections include HIV, Hepatitis and other blood-borne infections, people are also put off by the unpleasantness of coming into close contact with bodily fluids. These concerns are addressed by the effective use of barriers that will be covered later on in the lesson.
Fear of doing something wrong or simply not knowing what to do. The worst medical condition you have to deal with as a first aider is an individual who has no heartbeat and is not breathing. This individual is dead, and you cannot make a person any worse if he is dead. Any help you provide that person can only increase their chance of survival. The worst case scenario is that they will remain dead.
Fear of hurting the patient. CPR is a really basic skill. Medical research tells us that any form of oxygen circulation is the most important first step in providing life support. The real problem is not in doing CPR wrong, it is in not doing CPR at all. There are some instances where you could do harm, but we will cover these as the lesson continues. Generally speaking, first aid is about caring for the person and getting the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) to the person as quickly as possible and in many cases, this may mean just sitting with and providing comfort to the patient.
The other fear is the fear for your own safety. Ironically in real rescues this often is not an issue. In fact in many cases people automatically enter scenes without adequate consideration for themselves. We will be looking at scene safety and how you can use three simple steps ensure that you will keep yourself safe, in a later lesson.