As with any first aid course, an online course has goals for its students to adopt. These are the same as with any other first aid program, whether in person in a class or casual information in first aid gleaned over time and with experience.
Uppermost in any first aid situation is the goal of preserving life. As this is key, it is critical that first aiders taking an online first aid course get information in making primary assessment of an unconscious or irresponsible person. This is done by using the ABC mnemonic, which stands for Airway, Breathing, and Circulation. A person must have an open airway. Tipping the head back, which moves the tongue from in front of the throat, can do this. Also, be sure the victim was not choking on anything. If so, abdominal thrusts or back slaps may be needed.
Once the victim has a clear airway, it becomes critical to see if the victim is breathing and has circulation. If not, the first aider needs to initiate CPR – Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. When doing CPR, the first aider is breathing for the victim, forcing air into the lungs, and massaging the heart in order to move the blood flow through the body.
A first aid responder learns through an online fist aid course that they can keep the victim and others from further injury by only moving the patient if absolutely necessary (imagine a patient in the pathway of a train...) so that more damage isn't done to the victim through the moving. It is best to leave the victim lying where he or she is, as long as the airway is clear and there is breathing and circulation.
A responder promotes recovery by either fully caring for the injury, as in the case of bandaging a small wound, or by maintaining a situation like a broken bone until someone else with further training arrives – like an ambulance. In an online first aid training course, the student learns how to promote recovery of the victims.
Other aspects of health and safety that are often including in an online first aid course are the concepts of preventing initial injury and responder safety.
Simply being aware of safety concerns around us and eliminating them can avoid many injuries. Every workplace has safety as a priority, since injuries cause lost time and money. We should do the same in our homes, as well as in public.
Responders need to be careful to preserve their safety when they attempt to help others. It does no good to attempt to help a victim if it results in another victim. For example, a common concern are bloodborne pathogens. Responders need to be aware of the dangers of bloodborne pathogens and take appropriate precautions – known as Universal Precautions. These can all be learned in an online first aid course.