Once you've done a first aid course, you could be forgiven for thinking you're all set… for good. The truth is that, not unlike many other skills, the details can fade with time. When it comes to first aid, missing a detail can also be dangerous.
When an emergency arises — if your memory about what to do is sketchy — your confidence is undermined and you might be unable to administer help in the proper way. There are good reasons behind the recommendation of the Australian Resuscitation Council to renew CPR certification every 12 months and of Safe Work Australia to renew First Aid certification every 3 years.
The techniques and strategies for first aid evolve as new discoveries are made. The first aid technique you learned 5 years ago could have been improved upon significantly since then.
With good fortune, you my not need to use the first aid techniques you learned. The downside of this is that there's a strong likelihood that you've forgotten a great deal about what you learned.
It's only natural that your brain would have dispensed with older, less used information. The point of undergoing first aid certification at the prescribed intervals is to keep the concepts fresh in your mind.
You don't want to be wasting valuable seconds during an emergency, trying to remember what to do or floundering with your smartphone, trying to find the correct reference. Every second counts in a crisis, and knowing what to do quickly is vital.
The best way to administer life saving skills is to stay current with the latest first aid techniques. Medical researchers discover better ways of doing things all the time. It doesn't pays to ignore this.
It's easy to compare the techniques used today with those used 5 or 10 years ago. There is no doubt that technology and and experience in the field have improved efficiency and effectiveness.
Keeping up to date with your first aid knowledge skills is crucial. New information learned in a refresher course could well be the strategy that makes the difference between life and death.
If your job requires you to have first aid certification, it's not for some arbitrary reason. It's a requirement because either you work with children or you work where risks and the probability of emergencies cannot be easily dismissed.
For those reasons, your certification is more than just a piece of paper that is the price of admission. It is certification that you can be counted on to know what to do in an emergency. Take the responsibility seriously and keep your first aid certification up to date.