How to look after yourself as a first aider

First Aider SignThe most important person in first aid is yourself.

A first aider can’t look after others to the best of their ability if they aren’t looking themselves. First aid for the first aider is important and it’s something that is often overlooked as people prioritise the patient.

Here’s our top tips for looking after yourself as a first aider:

  1. Remember to take time for yourself, having regular breaks (even if you think you don’t need them)
  1. Keep hydrated and eat well
  1. Debriefs after providing care are also essential as they provide useful feedback and closure allowing you to mentally and physically relax and prepare for the next event
  1. Make sure you keep fit and healthy. If you’re unwell and infectious be aware as you could infect your patient. You don’t want to make someone worse by giving them the flu or the vomiting bug. Ask someone else to take over.
  1. If you find yourself struggling in whatever way, always ask. Whether it’s something you don’t know or you’ve witnessed something you’ve found upsetting, talking to someone about it is crucial. A little bit of stress is good for all, but too much will impact on our wellbeing and performance.

A first aid environment can be challenging. Don’t forget stress and depression can occur in a hectic environment when the demand placed upon us far exceeds the ability to cope.

Knowing our limits is a key factor in ensuring we don’t end up developing stress. Taking time out to do things that help us relax such as hobbies and interests are also important to ensure a healthy well being.

So before providing first aid to others, always ensure you’re providing first aid for yourself!

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