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Last updated: 21.08.19

Social Care Workers’ Guide to First Aid Training: Primary Survey

It isn’t unheard of for social care workers to find themselves in situations where they are required to use first aid training. Especially ones which require them to check for life-threatening injuries. For example, they may be working alone and visit an elderly person and discover they have fallen. Or work with people with substance abuse problems and may need assistance, or with children who injured themselves whilst playing.

Research shows that 1 in 3 people are unsure or don’t have the confidence to administer first aid training. Social care workers may be more likely than most to come across situations where it is needed, so it is important that they have the knowledge and the confidence. Do your staff have the appropriate training in your organisation? Do they regularly refresh their training?

The primary survey is an important starting point for any first aid training. By undertaking this training, the learner will gain essential knowledge in the following areas.

They will know what to do if they are the first on the scene of an accident

If someone is the first on the scene of an accident, the primary survey is the first test they (the assessor) need to undertake to discover if the casualty has any life-threatening injuries. The steps it follows are significant as they allow them to assess the body in order of priority, focusing first on the injuries that will cause fatality the quickest.

They will be able to assess the situation as a potential danger zone

Before they help the casualty, they must check their surroundings and assess whether there are any dangers, such as animals, hostile people, or traffic. Only once they are sure the area is safe, should they attend to the casualty. 

They will know the key processes to follow and what to do for each one

The key process for checking for life threatening injuries can be remembered by the anagram DR ABC, which lays out the following steps which must be followed in sequence.

D – Danger – Assessing whether they are in a danger zone

R – Response – Checking whether the casualty can respond

A – Airway – Checking whether the airways are blocked, and taking appropriate measures to make sure they are kept open

B – Breathing – Assessing whether the breathing is normal and taking appropriate steps if it isn’t

C – Circulation – If necessary, carrying out CPR

They will understand the importance of the recovery position and how to apply it

The recovery position is important for numerous reasons:

  • it allows the airway to be kept open
  • if the casualty vomits, then it won’t choke them
  • it is a recognisable position to first aid trainers
  • it keeps the casualty stable

Any training will take them through the four stages they must follow in order to apply it.

At Virtual College we want to make sure everyone has the training to ensure they are confident in their workplace. The First Aid Primary Survey is an important step in any first aid training, and our course provides graphics and instructions describing in detail all the steps required, including how to open an airway, check the breathing, how to determine different types of breathing, perform CPR and put the casualty in the recovery position. You can order the course through our website, or if you would like to contact us to find out more, email hello@virtual-college.co.uk or call us on (01943) 605 976.