Because you already work in a medical practice or health care facility, you might not give much thought to the idea of training your team on first aid. But doing so is especially important in this industry, where you are even more likely to encounter patients in need of medical intervention than in other settings. It’s not just patients who might need help, either; your own coworkers could someday use first aid assistance. Being prepared is the best way of preventing tragedy.
Hazards in the Workplace
You probably consider a medical office to be a fairly safe working environment. While places like construction sites and restaurants may pose more dangers than other settings, even a quiet office is not without its share of hazards.
Danger can lurk around any corner. Accidents happen, and medical emergencies occur all the time. You might have a patient (or coworker) trip and fall, choke on food, burn themselves, go into shock, get bitten or stung by an insect, or suffer from a seizure, heart attack, stroke, or other medical condition that comes on without warning. Unless your staff is prepared to handle situations like these, the victim’s condition can worsen. Without prompt action, serious injury or even death can result. The key to reducing this risk? Offer first aid training to all employees in your office.
The Benefits of First Aid Training
Providing your team with first aid training is a smart business decision in many ways. The investment in cost is small, and you can’t put a price tag on knowing you are keeping your employees and patients safe.
While the main goal of first aid training is prevention, this is not always possible. Nobody expects an accident to occur, and work-related injuries cannot always be avoided, no matter how careful you and your employees are. They should be given the training necessary to care for an ill or injured person until paramedics or other help can be summoned. You might also want to consider advanced training, such as CPR – if not for your entire staff, at least a few key individuals to ensure adequate onsite coverage should an emergency occur.
Which Program Should I Choose?
There are numerous options for first aid training programs. Because your choices are so varied and the process can be overwhelming, a consensus group comprised of a panel of government and private experts established the National Guidelines for First Aid in Occupational Settings in 1997. A few key points to consider:
- It is each employer’s responsibility to determine the requirements of their first aid program
- Determine the location and availability of any nearby medical facilities – including your own
- Make sure first aid supplies are readily available
- Conduct onsite safety inspections on a regular basis
- Discuss all facets of your first aid program with your staff
By implementing a first aid program, you aren’t guaranteeing an accident-free workplace – but you are taking the steps necessary to reduce the number and severity of emergencies that occur onsite.