Summer is just around the corner, which means sunny days, warm weather, and more activities. However, with increased movement, there's also a higher risk of getting injured. My goal this summer is to break my streak of getting injured every summer for the past three years. Unfortunately, knowing my luck, I'll probably end up making it four. If you have similarly bad luck, it's essential to educate ourselves on first aid. We can find valuable resources on Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition.
Injuries can happen at any time, and while we can't plan for them, having sufficient knowledge can help us prepare for such situations, whether they occur to us or someone we know. The first step is to have a well-equipped first aid kit. It's important to personalize the kit to address individual and family-specific needs. You can find more information on creating an effective first-aid kit in the article titled "Tips for Creating a Useful First-Aid Kit." Once you have a well-prepared first aid kit, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the basics of handling different injuries. For non-healthcare professionals, understanding how to address various situations can be challenging. Fortunately, the article titled "The Everything Guide to First Aid" provides detailed instructions on handling eight different types of injuries and suggests what items you should have in your kit. It's a handy resource!
I also discovered an interesting aspect of first aid called Psychological First Aid (PFA). PFA focuses on addressing the psychological response following a trauma. Often, when treating injuries, the emphasis is on relieving physical pain, neglecting the mental aspect. Last summer, I experienced a severe injury while playing soccer. I was tackled by an opposing player who didn't seem to have any other way to stop me. Unfortunately, I got injured in the process, and it was one of the worst injuries I've had. It wasn't just because of the pain but also because I heard a pop in my knee, which usually indicates a torn ACL. I proceeded to freak out as I saw my professional aspirations fleeting away. I was in a state of shock for about five minutes until I realized that despite the knee pain, I was able to stand, walk, and even run, all positive signs. The dream lives on. However, I wished someone had been there to help me through my emotional response to the injury instead of having ten guys hovering around me, staring. PFA provides guidelines and principles for addressing stressful situations like the one I went through. Although core competencies are still being discussed and subject to change, some principles remain consistent over the years, such as stabilization, assessment, triage, intervention, and facilitating access to further care. To learn more about PFA, I recommend reading the articles "Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Disasters" and "Psychological First Aid: A Consensus-Derived, Empirically Supported, Competency-Based Training Model," which are also available in the Health Source database.
While injuries are unexpected, having a basic understanding of first aid can help us know what actions to take when they occur. So, the next time you encounter someone freaking out about their knee, you'll be able to offer assistance and help them through the situation.