How can you keep your CPR skills up to date?
Last week I posted about sharing your CPR skills, but how can you make sure that your skills are up to date? The research suggests that our skills are partially lost 3 – 6 months after training, so even if you attend annual updates your skills can still be lost between sessions. We all hope that if we needed our skills then we would remember but what can we do to help?
The obvious answer is to practise. Some groups are able to run drills where they can practise scenarios in real time, this has the added advantage that if your team is likely to be the same this can help team work and communication; a big factor in how well an emergency is handled. An alternative is that you can get any emergency equipment out and go through it and familiarise yourself again. I always remind my practices that a good way to get the whole team familiar with any equipment is to rotate the job of checking it.
There are other tools available too. One that I suggest to all my groups is the Lifesaver interactive video this has the advantage over other videos because you do need to interact. There are three videos – CPR/AED, the recovery position and adult choking. For choking babies there is the latest St John’s advert ‘The Chokeables‘, although please remember that whilst waiting for help you need to do CPR if the baby has become unconscious.
There are also publications available where you can read through the steps involved and the guidelines are published on the Resuscitation Council’s website.
Even having a discussion with colleagues about what you would do and the correct sequence of events can help retain skills and knowledge.