What Will I Learn in a First Aid Course?

Celebrations are in order for being first aid certified
The first aid certificate holder has a definite advantage in the cut and thrust of a competitive job market.

An accredited Australian first aid course focuses on learning how to respond to an emergency involving injury or sudden illness. The importance of this knowledge cannot be overstated.

First aid knowledge should be taught in an effective, enlightening, and engaging manner. Your first aid trainer should have the right mix of skills to help you understand how first aid is provided in real-world situations.

It’s likely you’d come to your practical session for hands-on first aid training having read the relevant sections of your first aid manual.

In the practical session, your first aid instructor will talk you through scenarios likely to happen in real life. Some scenarios will illustrate the nature of the unexpected. It’s important to be prepared in the face of the unexpected.

The Scope of first aid Emergencies

Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. You’d be forgiven for thinking your first aid course could not come close to covering the many possibilities. But it will.

For every possible instance, there IS a procedure.

Dealing with any and all situations is the goal of your first aid training. It won’t give you super powers and it certainly doesn’t earn you a medical degree, but you’ll come away with many invaluable benefits.


DRSABCD is the strategy for handling emergency medical situations. It’s a strategy without borders, adopted all around the world.

The acronym expands as follows:

D for Danger. Assessing the scene is vitally important. You need to assess whether there’s any immediate threat to injured person/s, bystanders, or yourself. This could be anything from flames to live wires, passing vehicles, or a violent person. Complications could suddenly multiply if this D step were ignored. R is for Response. You need to know if the person is able to respond to you. It’s here in order, because it helps determine the actions taken in the steps that follow. S is for Send for Help. It may take time before professional medical care arrives. Better you alert them sooner rather than later. A is for Airway. Breathing will be compromised if the person’s airway is obstructed. You need to check this and clear any obstructions without delay. B is for Breathing. Check that the person is breathing. B follows hard on the heels of A. If they are not breathing, proceed immediately to C. C is for CPR. Your first aid training will prepare you for this. CPR is an absolute life-saver and comes into play on many occasions, especially after cardiac arrests and near-drownings. D is for Defibrillator. An AED (automated external defibrillator) shares duties with CPR and is used specifically to jumpstart the heart. Often an AED can be found nearby. Sometimes it’s not until the paramedics arrive, that an AED becomes available.

Every aspect of this DRSABCD strategy — including learning what AEDs are capable of, and how to use them — will be covered in your first aid training.

Your familiarity with DRSABCD will enable you to align your thoughts under pressure. Then in an emergency, you’ll have a cool head, when everyone else seems to be losing theirs.

Your composure and reassurance will prove highly beneficial for both the patient and others at the scene.

Read more about DRSABCD.

Emergency Response Procedures

As mentioned previously, you’ll be taught CPR in your first aid training.

In an Australia Wide First Aid course, you’ll perform the CPR procedure on a manikin positioned on the floor. You’ll be kneeling over the manikin and will need to be capable of keeping the momentum going for 2 minutes solid.

You’ll be shown the correct procedure for performing CPR on adults, children and infants.

The developing anatomy of children and infants requires adjustment to the technique. You’ll benefit by learning to manage this confidently.

Traditional CPR procedure includes two rescue breaths after 30 chest compressions. You’ll also learn how to provide compression-only CPR where the potential for infection is a concern.

You’ll be shown how the conductive pads for Automated External Defibrillators are applied safely, including how to position them on the smaller bodies of children.

Treating Wounds

Your first aid training also includes wound care — from treating cuts, bruises, eye injuries, and burns, through to bandaging sprains and dislocations.

The different categories for burns will be discussed and you’ll understand why dislocations aren’t simply ‘popped’ back into place.

You’ll be shown procedures that are best when there’s been an injury to the neck, spine, or head.

Breathing and Choking

After studying first fid, you’ll know what do when a person is choking or otherwise unable to breathe — adults as well as babies. You’ll learn the recommended procedure for clearing the person’s airway.

You’ll also gain an insight into the nature of asthma and anaphylaxis. These two afflictions, often with similar symptoms, escalate quickly. Timely first aid assistance is essential.


When a person’s health declines as a result of poisoning, the substance that caused it may not be apparent. Did the person ingest the toxin? Did they inject it? Were they stung? Were they bitten?

Poisoning from a funnel web spider bite would need different treatment than having ingested a chemical poison.

Your first aid course explores all possibilities and will also run through the procedures for each.

Without this training, what your next move would be?

Assessing the Scene

Along with preparing you to respond to unexpected medical emergencies — ranging from stings to strokes, from sprains to seizures, from hypothermia to hyperthermia, from hypoglycemia to hyperglycemia — first aid training also teaches you to sensibly assess the scene.

It’s critical that you proceed safely, alert to potential dangers. You cannot provide first aid if further harm is present, threatening yourself, the casualty, and bystanders. Removing the threat or moving a safe distance from it is a priority.

Awareness to dangerous situations plays a significant role in the prevention of medical emergencies. Another benefit of this first aid skill is assessing and addressing the potential for injury in your workplace, as well as in your home.

Flexible first aid training

With Australia Wide First Aid, first aid instruction is available at venues around Australia. Another option is to have one of the company’s exceptional trainers come to your premises to deliver a group first aid class.

This training can be customised to suit your workplace, addressing such safety concerns as working with chemicals on-site, working with potentially dangerous machinery, working at heights, as well as many other health and safety situations.

Once you’re enrolled in an Australia Wide First Aid course, you can download your first aid manual in eBook form.

The relevant sections to read depend on the course you signed up for. Reading the eBook in its entirety won’t take much extra effort in any case.

If you’re strapped for time, you could use your first aid eBook as a handy reference to quickly find the answers to the eLearning quiz, and save the reading for later.

The online first aid course with Australia Wide First Aid is a breeze. It’s a multiple-choice quiz you can tackle over several short sessions, or in one hit.

Take as many attempts as you need to arrive at the correct answers.

You will have scored 100% when your eLearning is completed.

There’s less stress when you get your eLearning done rather than leave it until the last moment. However, you do have until 11:59 pm the night before your first aid class to submit your assessment.

Regulations require eLearning to be completed before the hands-on training.

If you were to try to attend the practical session without having submitted your eLearning, you’d be turned away and would need to rebook the first aid workshop… another reason it’s less stressful to just get it done.

Your first aid certificate

First aid certification is not just a way of becoming more valuable to your community, it’s also a genuine career booster.

Your first aid certificate tells employers that you readily accept responsibility, that you care for the people around you, that you know how to take the initiative.

Australia Wide First Aid certificates are recognised in every state and territory in Australia. In the cut and thrust of a competitive job market, the first aid certificate holder has a definite advantage.

Graduates of any first aid course, simply do refresher courses to keep their qualifications intact and up-to-date. CPR (HLTAID009) should be renewed annually. Renewal every 3 years is recommended for HLTAID011 Provide First Aid and HLTAID012 Provide First Aid in an education and care setting.

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