First Aid for Tai Chi for Health Instructors

Leslie Roberts
First Aid knowledge has been proven to be an essential part of working with groups of people. It isn't about Tai Chi and First Aid, it is simply about People and First Aid.

First Aid for Tai Chi
for Health (Arthritis, Diabetes and others) Instructors

By
Lesley Roberts, Master Trainer (UK)

Whilst taking registrations
for my recent Tai Chi for Arthritis workshop, many enquiries were about the
new requirement that participants wishing to qualify for a Teaching certificate
must have a current First Aid qualification.

For me, First Aid knowledge
has been proven to be an essential part of working with groups of people where
there are quite likely to be instances when First Aid may come in handy. It
isn't about Tai Chi and First Aid, it is simply about People and First Aid and
three recent experiences, 2 faints and one bad bleed in a week reinforced my
feelings about this. Lesley at the Sydney Tai Chi workshop

The first, a diabetic who
became faint and hypoglycaemic, recognising the text book signs of pallor, sweating
and trembling I knew where to find glucose gel as previously advised, this quickly
relieved the symptoms so that the person could perform a self diagnostic blood
test to check sugar levels and take appropriate action.

The second faint was a person
generally debilitated with fatigue and a poor nutritional regime after a long
period of caring for a sick partner. A chewy cereal bar and sweet orange juice
from my 'kit' helped and soon had her feeling better, while a little TLC and
advice on the importance of breakfast before class put a knowing smile on her
face.

The third a severe cut with
heavy bleeding and a near faint, the cut being caused by a piece of broken glass
which had, unbeknown to the lady, fallen into her handbag earlier that day at
home when she had dropped and broken a bottle. This involved quickly stemming
the blood loss, assisting the injured party who became faint with the shock
of seeing so much blood, then making a trip to the local hospital for 5 stitches.

It was quite a week which
has been cause for much reflection since reminding me of human fragility, about
people and real life situations. How glad I was that in August I'd updated my
First Aid certificate which helped me to deal with each incident caringly but
efficiently minimising distress to other people present. Over the years I have
found that a first aid procedure is useful for each venue including information
about where to find First Aid equipment, name of qualified First Aider present,
telephone number of local hospital, emergency procedures too. A couple of minutes
taken to set this out possibly at the same time as your risk assessment can
save precious moments when an incident occurs.

First Aid is a valuable
qualification which for little cost keeps us regularly updated and brings us
in line with the first aid standards required of other exercise leaders. Above
all it gives us the necessary confidence to help other people and may even save
someone's life. Though we all hope that such situations will never arise, surely
it is better to be prepared, in fact for me it would now seem irresponsible
not to have this knowledge and hope that others will consider making it one
of their qualities too.