We shine a light on one of Red Cross’ first aid trainers, Lois Munday, who shares her experiences of training and what you can expect on a course.
Lois has been a Red Cross trainer for just over 7 years and describes leading a first aid training course is like being in charge of a ship:
“Be prepared for changes in the weather and needs of your team. As long as you reach your destination successfully with everyone on board, that’s what’s important.”
- What led you to pursue first aid as a career?
Before I became a trainer for Red Cross Training, I worked in other areas of the business, so I had a really good insight into the role and the passion and enthusiasm that our trainers had.
Previously I worked as cabin crew for many years and one of the really important parts of the job is being confident in helping someone in a first aid incident and the standard for this is very high and training is constantly on-going.
Becoming a first aid trainer came naturally as I just followed my passion for developing people.
- Which courses do you lead?
- Which is your favourite course to teach?
I’d probably have to say first aid is my favourite, as it was my first love!
- Can you tell us how you start a training session?
I always begin each session by answering everyone’s burning questions: What will they be doing? / How long will they be there for? / How will they be assessed? / When will their breaks be?
It helps ease any worries, or else it may be hard for them to concentrate in the same way.
Then I do some sort of ice-breaker which is important to build rapport and establish relationships for the day before learning commences. I also set out some course expectations and some ground rules, which are also important before they start learning.
I train groups of up to twelve people currently, and courses can last anything from a couple of hours to 7 hours, depending on what I’m training.
- What can learners expect throughout the day?
To build and improve their confidence to enable them to help someone more effectively, they will do this using a wide range of interactive activities, both practical and written.
- How do you typically conclude a training session?
Towards the end of a session, we will usually have a quiz or Q&A session, followed by checking learning outcomes and expectations have been met and most importantly confidence levels have been improved. Lastly, I will ask for feedback on the day through an evaluation form.
- Do you have any tricks or tips for particularly quiet or boisterous groups?
Just be prepared to adapt on route and never be ridged. It’s a bit like being in charge of a ship - be prepared for changes in weather and needs of your team. As long as you reach your destination successfully with everyone on board, that’s what’s important.
- Is there a particular activity or task your learners tend to enjoy or respond to the most?
You need to take into account the needs of all the learners, as some will respond to roleplay well, whereas others will prefer watching videos or writing and drawing – it’s really about reading the room and adapting to people’s individual needs.
- What does a successful training session look like for you?
One where everyone was engaged, where confidence was improved, and everyone enjoyed the session.
- What learning outcomes do you expect learners to achieve by the end of the training?
I expect all subject knowledge outcomes met, skills and confidence improved and any additional personal and team outcomes they outlined at the start of the course met.
- What other things do you look for in a successful session?
Timings were met, everyone felt that they had learnt new skills in a safe environment where everyone was included.
- What have you had to do differently in your training sessions during Covid-19?
Some of the sessions I’ve been doing haven’t always been face-to-face, some of them have been virtual, which has been a new thing for us this year.
As far as face-to-face training goes, it’s just really ensuring all safety and hygiene procedures are followed and where social distancing has to be broken (which is necessary for assessment purposes) that that time is kept to a minimum and again, all Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to, like wearing face masks and sanitising hands. It’s things we’ve all got used to doing in our everyday life.
- What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love seeing improved confidence and hearing that our learners have actually put their first aid skills into practice to help others. Knowing that I’ve played a big part in building someone’s confidence to enable them to help in an emergency, that’s really rewarding.
- What is the most challenging part of your job?
Sometimes we have to travel to external venues to deliver onsite training for businesses, so sometimes finding the company locations can be challenging – but I think that’s mainly poor use of my Sat-Nav! But other than that, everything else is a massive positive. That’s the only small bit I’d have to say would be a challenge.
- Finally, tell us one thing you have learned as your time as a Red Cross trainer?
To embrace individual differences and adapt.
Topics: First Aid