First Responders

Earlier this week, Renay had to renew her certificate for CPR/AED/First Aid. After being certified for her seventh certificate, the program is familiar, no matter the changes, but what does not change is the realization of the importance of this training.

CPR/First Aid training is required for most paraeducators especially those who work with students with medical issues related to their disabilities. But more realistically, the adults in the classroom are most likely to have a situation requiring CPR or First Aid. Outside of work, these are skills that carry over to the general public.

Some take aways that we should mention to all

  • General human anatomy knowledge is very important. Knowing that the difference between a bone and cartilage and where on the human body those points are make a difference for someone providing first aid.
  • Your instructor most likely has had to use their skills in the field. Their stories and experiences are very useful to you. While hopefully, you will never have to use your skills, know their stories will make a difference in responding to specific situations.
  • Follow the medical instructions that come from your school nurse. These instructions are specifically created for the student you will be helping and are a part of the response to the student’s medical needs and are developed with input from the student’s medical team.
  • If you have to provide a specific medical intervention for a student, or any student, remember after the event, it is okay to take care of yourself. It is okay to ask to go home or take an extended break in the staff room. Just let the supervisor know. There may even be a post-vention, or a discussion of how the situation unfolded with other staff and administrators. This is not disciplinary, this is recognizing that responding to medical emergencies is difficult and that should another situation arise, which is quite common with students with disabilities, to make certain that all the tools are in place to best support the student and their classmates.
  • Remember to aim for dignity of a student. Some of the first aid necessary can be invasive. Sometimes the first step is clearing out the space and getting help over as soon as possible. This also may mean getting another staff member to get some clothes from the office or raiding the spare PE clothes for a student.
  • That first day back after the incident that’s going to be rough on everyone. But smile and say, “I am glad to have you back.”

Getting CPR/AED/First Aid certified is not hard. Most courses relatively easy to pay for and cover care for infants through adults. We always hope we never need to use our skills, but it hurts more not to have the skills at all.


If you missed last week, just a reminder, we are heading to SXSWEdu in March. Check out our presentation!


Do you have any questions about this week’s blog? Do you want to offer a guest blog? Find ParaEducate online herehereherehere, and on our website. ParaEducate is a company interested in providing materials, information, and strategies for people working in special education inclusion settings for grades K-12. ParaEducate, the blog, is published weekly during the academic school year on Thursdays, unless a holiday. ParaEducate shares their findings at conferences, through their books, and their academic adaptations.

About paraeducate

ParaEducate is a company run to help reach out to paraeducators or paraprofessionals in public K-12 schools, giving advice, talking about publications that ParaEducate produces, and other useful information regarding working in public school settings.

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