How Much First Aid Training Do You Need?

Mom treating son's finger
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First aid training can be overlooked. Most people never take a formal first aid class. Maybe your mother taught you some first aid. Maybe you learned it as a Girl Scout or Boy Scout.

First aid training may help you decide when to go to the emergency department. Emergency departments are expensive and busy. The average time spent in an emergency department visit is over 3 hours. Many folks don't want to go to the ER if they don't have to go.

Most importantly, first aid training may just save your life or the life of someone you love. First aid is just that—first! Good first aid training helps you recognize and treat life-threatening conditions and injuries.

Where to Find First Aid Training

Most first aid classes take less than a day to complete. Community colleges, fire departments, ambulance services, and hospitals all often provide first aid training to the public. Several nonprofit organizations provide first aid and CPR training.

What Training Covers

First aid classes are designed to give students the tools to save lives. Common topics covered in basic first aid classes include:

What Is Not Covered by Basic Training

Many first aid classes do not have time to cover minor injuries and illnesses, which are not necessarily life-threatening. Many of these less urgent needs are covered here:

What's the Difference Between CPR and First Aid Training?

First aid training covers a wide variety of emergencies and emergency scenes. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is one procedure that everyone should know. If you only have time for one class, take CPR.