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I recently attended a First Aid at Work requalification course run by St John Ambulance. This and the previous course that I attended (3 years ago), have been completely different to those in the past.

St John Ambulance has looked at a variety of different learning styles and replaced the old didactic style training (trainer talks, student listens), with a variety of different learner involved activities to make the course both more enjoyable and to aid learning.

What this means is that the old OHP and workbooks have gone and instead the learners are involved in games or tasks that involves everyone in the learning process. Some of the traditional teaching styles are still used, but in short elements and using modern tools. For example the data projector has replaced the OHP bringing audio and video clips into the presentations.

On this particular course I knew the trainer and he knew me, so as a result we had an opportunity to use some things that it is not always possible to include. I ended up covered in make-up blood on a couple of occasions to create more realistic scenarios.

Different trainers have different styles. The previous course was based more around learning games which was also a great way of learning first aid. The protocols have also been updated which make it simpler and easier to learn. More about the new first aid protocols (2006). The multiple choice exam paper has also been dropped, so the only assessment are the practical resuscitation (cpr), unconscious casualty (recovery position) and an incident (e.g. bleed). This takes a lot of the pressure off at the assessment stage, but still ensures that everyone is competent in first aid.

I thought that these new training techniques were something that was happening throughout first aid training, but from comments that others on the course have made, it sounds like this is not the case. St John Ambulance really do make first aid training fun, and help to learn at the same time.

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