What Do You Learn in a First Aid Training Course?

Earning your CPR certification is an effective and ideal way to gain life-saving skills that could assist someone suffering from cardiac arrest. However, if you’re looking to learn an even wider range of medical skills to respond to an emergency, you should also consider receiving professional training and certification in First Aid. While there is some overlap between the two types of medical training, First Aid prepares you to respond quickly and effectively to many different types of emergencies. 

But what exactly do you learn in a First Aid training course? What skills and medical knowledge can you take away from this important type of certification? To answer these questions and more, we’re taking a closer look into First Aid training. First, we identify this type of medical training and then review the important skills you’ll gain from receiving your First Aid certification. In the event of an emergency, being trained and certified in First Aid could truly be the difference between life and death. 


Before we dig into the skills you’ll learn in First Aid training, it’s helpful to first define this concept. First Aid can be understood as the emergency and immediate care provided to the victim of an injury or sudden illness until professional medical care arrives on the scene. This is an important point to highlight. While in some cases, such as a minor cut or bruise, First Aid can serve as complete treatment, most of the time First Aid is intended to be a temporary measure. This means you’ll stabilize the victim until medical help arrives.

First Aid training, then, refers to the professional training and certification you receive. This type of certification ensures that you receive high-quality and professional training with the most current information and skills. Like any other medical field, First Aid is continually evolving and improving. Being up to date with First Aid certification ensures that you have the most effective skills and valuable information. 


Some people may think that only doctors, nurses, and those in the medical field need to know First Aid skills. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Everyone should have at least a basic understanding of First Aid. Why is this? Simply enough, you never know when a medical emergency will strike. As more and more individuals, regardless of your profession or medical experience, receive professional First Aid training, the world will become a much safer place. 


So, what exactly do you learn in a First Aid training class? Here’s a closer look at some of the specific skills you can take away from this type of medical certification.

1. First Aid basics: before you dive into specific skills and emergencies, most First Aid training courses will begin with the basics. In this introductory session, you’ll learn about the basic guiding principles for First Aid. You’ll learn how to safely assess the scene of the emergency and how to quickly identify the emergency at hand.

2. Breathing emergencies: there are many different types of breathing emergencies that can threaten someone’s life. Whether caused by an allergic reaction, asthma, choking, or even a heart attack, First Aid can help you assist the victim. This response may include simply helping them access medication or performing CPR.

3. Choking emergencies: similar to breathing emergencies, choking can quickly threaten someone’s life. Lack of oxygen to the brain can cause serious damage or even death—even if it’s only a few minutes. First Aid training teaches you to identify a choking emergency and perform the Heimlich maneuver to assist the victim.

4. Allergy emergencies: in severe cases, an allergic reaction (whether it’s caused by food, an insect sting, medication, or exposure to an animal) may lead to anaphylactic shock. Within minutes, the victim may be unable to breathe as the airway becomes restricted. To help the victim of anaphylactic shock, you’ll learn how to safely and effectively use an epinephrine pen (an EpiPen), and if necessary, provide CPR.

5. Bites and sting emergencies: while most insect bites and stings are only momentarily painful, they can cause an allergic reaction or even prove to be poisonous (such as in the case of a scorpion or some spider stings). Additionally, bites from large animals like dogs can cause excessive bleeding or even broken bones. First Aid training enables you to respond to a variety of bites and sting emergencies.

6. Wound emergencies: both open and closed wounds require immediate attention. Bleeding, bruising, and swelling are all symptoms of wounds that can be treated by First Aid. Open wounds especially, those that may be bleeding excessively require swift care and attention.

7. Burn emergencies: whether it’s a first, second, or third degree burn, these emergencies can be extremely painful and dangerous. Whether caused by fire, chemicals, electricity, or an accident, First Aid will enable you to provide relief to a burn victim and treat the burn so it doesn’t get any worse. 


While we all hope to never face one, medical emergencies happen every day. No matter who you are or what you’re doing, there’s the potential for an emergency that could prove hazardous. To better protect you, your loved ones, and your community, consider enrolling in a First Aid training course. With First Aid certification, you’ll have the skills, knowledge, and confidence to jump into action if a medical emergency occurs.

In a First Aid training course, you’ll learn how to identify and respond to a wide range of emergency scenarios, including breath emergencies, allergy emergencies, bites and stings, wound emergencies, and more. While First Aid is designed as a temporary measure, the care you provide immediately makes a major impact on the survival rate of the victim. First Aid training and certification can help you potentially save a life. 

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