The Problem With Taking A First Aid Course Online

Taking a first aid course is important for a number of professionals especially those who deal with the elderly, children and sick people. However, many businesses invest in first aid courses for their employees primarily so that emergency situations can be contained in house until help arrives. That being said there have been an increasing number of job seekers in certain fields who are taking a first aid course online to increase their chances of finding suitable employment. The benefit for these people is the fact that online courses are a lot cheaper, quicker and require less time to finish. They can also be attended from the comfort of your home. But are these courses really worth it?

First aid is a physical tool

Unlike learning how to design a website, or speak Japanese, learning first aid is all about using your body to save lives. For instance, performing CPR will require that you be able to position your body in a certain way, then pump out 30 compressions in one minute. There is technique, experience and skill involved, something that you cannot learn by watching a video. A video instruction will just show you how it’s done but a physical instructor will correct the mistakes you make as well as give you tips on how to handle specific situations. This is why learning first aid online is not a really good idea.

The instructor needs to be certified and experienced

The problem with many of the first aid courses online is the fact that you have no way of knowing who the instructor is and if they are really qualified and certified. The other thing you cannot be sure of is if the company has a license to teach people first aid to begin with. If this is not the case even if you do receive a certificate once you successfully complete the course it will be a meaningless piece of paper that employers will either not recognize or may actually dampen your chances of getting employment.

Many online courses are scams

The other problem with taking a first aid course online is that there are practically hundreds of websites offering these courses. The fee for the course can vary from $100 to $500. But the majority of these sites are just scams operating out of countries like China, India or Indonesia. When you sign up for the course you get nothing but access to a dozen or so first aid videos that run you through the basics of first aid. Then there is a test which is designed to be easy so that you pass. The whole course will not take more than a day or two to complete. That being said the majority of first aid videos can be found on video sharing websites like YouTube. Also, because the certificate you receive is worthless you’re putting the money you spend down the drain.

No scenarios no exam

Online first aid courses will not practice scenarios where certain types of first aid techniques can be used. Practicing certain scenarios are very important and passing an exam in the presence of an instructor is imperative to earn your certificate. The majority of offline first aid courses will have instructors who will walk you through some of the most common scenarios and a few uncommon ones. Once you’re ready for an exam you’ll be given a written test followed by a physical practical examination. An instructor will grade you based on technique and style prior to deciding if you pass and earn your certificate. This is primarily because it is not in the instructor’s best interest to churn out first aid students who do not know anything, it hurts his reputation.

What can you do online?

If you’re considering an online courses about first-aid services it should be free because you’re not learning a lot from it. Any and all first aid courses should be taken offline, it should be conducted by a certified instructor and there should be a sample class that enables prospective students to see how good the instructor is. That being said offline courses are a lot more expensive than what you can find online but it will actually end up teaching you something.

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:British_Red_Cross_First_Aid_Kits.jpg
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

Manu Alias has been a first aid instructor for twenty years. He has worked with the military and the police as a first aid instructor. He’s also featured in a number of first aid instructional videos. Mark is currently working on a first aid book for beginners. 

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