While CPR/AED course topics provide ample hands-on learning and interaction, First Aid class topics are more lecture-based and jam–packed with information to absorb. This can often make the course feel like it is moving slower for both students and Instructors. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some creative ideas to make First Aid more engaging and keep your students’ full attention.
Break Up Lecture
Most students won’t be able to focus for 3+ hours straight, especially if the Instructor is using lecture as the primary method of delivery.
- Provide more breaks – Breaks can help students and Instructors hit the reset button when it comes to refocusing. Allow students to use the restroom or have everyone do a quick stretch in the room to wake their senses back up.
- Take advantage of hands-on skills – Don’t rush through First Aid skill practice just to get to the next topic. These skills are important for students to fully learn, and they can be used to get the class interacting again.
- Motivate students with freebies – Use your students to help move the course along by getting them to answer questions and volunteer their own experiences in place of a long-winded lecture. Use snack-size candy bars, branded pens or keychain barriers to reward your students for interacting.
Get Creative with Props
Many students are tactile learners – they need to touch things and practice using them in order to retain the information. Bring examples of First Aid items that will be discussed, so students can pass them around and handle them. Consider adding these items to your Instructor toolbox.
Have students rub shaving cream on their gloves to simulate blood when practicing proper glove removal. This will give students a more realistic experience – if it’s not done correctly, they will get splattered or smear it on their clothing or skin. Some Instructors choose to use other mediums like ketchup, but keep in mind that any splatters could stain your student’s clothing.
Anti-choking Trainer Vest
Students LOVE using the anti-choking trainer vest. Many students haven’t seen it before and find that it’s a fun experience to use it. The whole class will be laughing together and enjoying learning about the topic.
Epinephrine Auto-Injector Trainers
Students are required to pass a skill check for using an epinephrine auto-injector when discussing allergic reactions. We recommend providing at least 1 auto-injector trainer for every 2 students.
QuikClot Dressing Trainer
Pass around a hemostatic dressing trainer when discussing bleeding and wounds. These are designed for instructional use (no hemostatic properties) and helps teach bleeding control using the aid of a hemostatic bandage.
When teaching your students how to apply a splint, try using the student workbook as the actual splint! Not only are you teaching a valuable skill, you are also teaching them to be creative and use objects they have around them to administer first aid.
You read that right! Pass around a finger in a bag when discussing traumatic injuries. These and other relevant props (ex: skin with burns or limbs with impaled objects) can be purchased through online retailers or at a Halloween store.
First Aid Training Kit
Give each student their own training kit for practicing skills. You can make them yourself or buy a training kit that is ready to go with everything they need: gloves, gauze pads, rolled gauze, and triangular bandage.
The point is to get creative and think outside the box! Use props that support what you’re teaching and give students a reason to refocus on what’s being taught.
Choose an Interactive First Aid Program
Not all First Aid programs are created equal. EMS Safety’s First Aid program is designed to grab students’ attention and be easy-to-use for Instructors. Students will hear from real rescuers and real victims to drive home the importance of learning these skills. Students will engage in realistic scenarios and hear from experts in their respective fields via our course training videos.
Instructors have several options for showing the required videos: use the course DVD included in the Instructor Kit, play the videos as they follow along with our course PowerPoint, stream the videos from their Instructor Portal, or download the video chapters directly to their device. There’s no extra cost, so you can choose whichever method is right for your location.
Check out our blog for additional teaching tips!