Have you checked when your first aid training is due for renewal?

As Nannies it is standard practice for us to hold and renew our 12-hour paediatric first aid qualification every 3 years. When I last renewed my qualification 2 years ago I completed my first blended course. The course was 6 hours practical in a classroom and 6 hours theory based at home online. This was a new experience for me, but I thought it worked well and I did prefer to spend only one day in the classroom (especially as I completed the course in the summer, and it was a lovely sunny day). It was also beneficial to complete the theory part of the course in my own time in my own home. However, I’m not certain I took in quite as much information as I would have done had the instructor delivered the theory side of the course.

Our membership ambassador Pauline recently updated her paediatric first aid qualification and she's kindly reported back to us about her experience:

“Last month, for the first time I did the 12 hour blended paediatric first aid course, which is 6 hours practical and 6 hours of online learning. There are questions at the end of each module and a test at the end of the course. You have to attain 80% to receive the online certificate and you can’t do the practical until you have the e-learning certificate. In the past, and I have done several, I have always done the full 12 hours in class so I was wondering what the difference would be.

Firstly, I found the e-learning part very easy to navigate and the fact that I could log in and out whilst maintaining my progress meant that I didn’t have to sit for 6 hours straight but rather could set my own pace. Each module had audio, text, and video so the three together I found made a good balance. The “test” at the end wasn’t too challenging and you could redo some questions if you got them wrong. I slipped up on one question twice and kicked myself after!

As for the practical, apart from the fact that we were all social distancing and therefore couldn’t practice the recovery position on each other, it was pretty much what I expected both in the subjects covered and the practical side (back blows, abdominal thrusts, and CPR on the dummies). Not much has changed from previous courses, although the time of cooling off a burn under cool running water has changed from 10 mins to 20 which is an awfully long time with a wriggling child!

I have always found that the instructor plays a huge part in the enjoyment (or not) of the course. Someone who is happy to answer questions and keep me engaged with frankly not the most uplifting of subjects that I have covered a few times already makes the difference between the day being a bit of a chore and leaving feeling confident and positive.

In conclusion, I have to say I preferred the blended course. Being able to do the e-learning in my own home and at a time that suited me was great but that’s because I have done quite a few of the courses over the years. If it had been my first course I would probably have benefitted more from the 12 hours in class as I’m sure I would have had many questions for the instructor. I asked the instructor what she thought, and she agreed that it would probably be best to do the full 12 hours in class as a first experience of paediatric first aid.

I’d be interested to hear what anyone else thinks about the paediatric first aid courses.”

Pauline thank you for your account.

I also spoke with Sophie White who is an experienced Norland Nanny and founder of Raise Workshops https://www.raiseworkshops.co.uk Sophie is a qualified first aid instructor and wanted to share her views with us.

“Over the years as a nanny I have done quite a few first aid courses and last year I decided to train to become a first aid instructor as part of my new business. Since becoming an instructor and teaching both parents and nannies first aid, I decided early on that I wanted my courses to be as engaging and interesting as possible as I believe people learn better and retain more when they are enjoying the course.

The company I am accredited through doesn't actually offer the blended course, though because of Covid-19 I am able to offer part of the course over zoom to minimise face to face contact. I have done a blended course myself before I became an instructor and if I am honest, as a nanny, the blended course sounded like the better option as it meant I only had to miss one day of my weekend and could fit the rest in when I had time. As nannies, our weeks are full-on and I understand first-hand how precious our weekends are to recharge for the new week ahead. After the blended course though I felt like I hadn’t gained as much from it as I had from previous full face to face courses. I knew there were gaps in my knowledge which wasn’t great. As the course only needs to be taken every three years I am now quite an advocate for the full face to face course, first aid is such an important subject that really shouldn’t feel like a chore to complete.

The full face to face 12-hour course, split over two days or sometimes over one day and two evenings, gives everyone the chance to really understand and assimilate all the information. At the end of the course, there is a short assessment paper to be filled in and I work hard to provide lots of visual and practical elements throughout my course. Whether that is breathing through a straw to show how quickly someone having an asthma attack feels like they just can’t breathe or by using a sponge and water to show the importance of pushing down enough when doing compressions in CPR as well as coming all the way back up on the chest. All my manikins are Bluetooth enabled which allows me to connect them to an app on my phone, so when you are performing CPR or the choking procedures you can see in real-time how effective you are and correct your technique there and then. As an instructor, I try to work with everyone's different learning styles and I like to use my creativity that I learned as a nanny, to make sure it is as interesting and enjoyable as possible.”

Sophie thank you for your account.

At BAPN we offer several discounts for paediatric first aid courses with the following companies.

First Aid for Life - https://firstaidforlife.org.uk

ABC Medical Services https://abcmedicalservices.co.uk Safe + Sound https://www.safeandsound.uk.net

Find further details in the Members section on our website in Online Training.

Lizzie Watts

Senior Membership Ambassador


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