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Workplace First Aid Training

In my previous article, I wrote about the lack of willingness to attend first-aid training. In summary, it seems to be a Nigerian thing.

I have stated before that I came into first aid training by chance. It was not what I had envisioned myself doing, though being interested in health education makes it understandable now.

My son’s illness brought me down this path and was made more conceivable by mine. Therefore, by virtue of my background and backstory, I come with a different mindset.

The main issues I have observed with Nigerians learning first aid are the willingness to attend first aid trainings, the duration and the fascination with certificates.

In this post, I will focus on Nigerians issues with the duration of first aid trainings.

First, there is this belief that there is just one type of first aid training, a one size fits all thing. Therefore, when we get inquiries about our training, and we ask which, it leads to confusion.

It is important to emphasize that there are different types of trainings. A variety of topics are taught under each training type. This means that learning times would be different, and by extension, duration.

Nigerians issues with duration of first aid trainings

The duration you spend learning something is essential. It helps to get your understanding of the subject matter fixed in your mind based on the knowledge given and the skills learnt. If you come in already thinking, “I know it all”, or “What are you going to teach me”, then you would balk at the hours to commit to the learning.

Another reason for the resistance to the duration length could be from previous trainings. If a first aid training provider could bend their training times to suit you, you may think that is what all first aid training providers do.

It reminds me of training requested by a multinational from a European country for their staff in Lagos. Arrangements were made from abroad but come time to get their staff to us, it became a process. It was a lot of back and forth with the management in Nigeria. Their main grouse was that the duration stated was too long and they could not spare their staff for the day. The person who made the arrangements, in his emails to us, did not understand why they could not get that the duration was what it should be as it was an international standard. Eventually, they came in with the attitude of “I have done this before”. That quickly changed when the training started.

Or another case of a company representative asking if a certification training with learning, eight skills assessments, and the final exam for an 8-hour training (with three breaks) could come down to 3 hours? Really? 

Organizations know their staff do not like to attend these trainings so they don’t tell them the whole truth. We would have informed them beforehand of duration, what to expect, even down to dressing for the skills assessment and the exam times but they refuse to tell them because as one Exec said to me, “They won’t come!”.

So as part of our trainings, we take the first 10 minutes to tell them what to expect about the training and everything involved leading to exclamations of “Ha!”, “Test ke?”

Even after this, a few would still form busy and ask, “Can I bring my laptop?”. No problem, you will be the one to put it away when you see you can’t do that “work”.

Apart from certification trainings which takes a long time, we offer demonstration classes that can be as short as 2 – 3 hours yet the resistance is there. One class held recently for teachers had one of them asking for permission to leave just as the class started. He stated that he had to be somewhere in 1 hour. Do you know he stayed till the end? He participated, asked questions and gave feedback on our training being the best he had ever attended. He said all others had been boring, but ours was easy to understand and gave him the opportunity to practice. Imagine what he would have missed if he had left.

My final post on issues Nigerians have with first aid trainings, will be about the fascination of certificates with learning first aid.

Look out for it. 😀

About the author 

Dr Tosin Osikoya

Committed to saving lives. One person at a time.

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