It is essential to always treat the person as well as the issue, offer reassurance and maintain communication with them. This is especially important for children and the elderly to ensure they feel safe, secure, and supported.
Talking to the patient in a calm manner reduces their level of anxiety and when combined with good first aid management can also aid in easing discomfort.
It is important to communicate with the casualty and inform them of what you think should be done, what you intend to do and seek their consent before commencing any treatment. Talking through what you are going to do will help reassure the casualty that they are receiving good care.
In the case of children, it is important to try and obtain consent from a parent or caregiver. For small children, absence of a parent will increase their anxiety, and if you are a stranger to them, this can add to their distress.
If a parent or caregiver is not present, the details of the incident and treatment must be reported to them. If the child is transported to hospital, it is the responsibility of the hospital to do this. Never provide your own diagnosis to a parent.
Finally, if a child is quite distressed and an ambulance is not required, always find someone to talk to the child about their feelings and emotions, this could include a parent, caregiver, or a counselling service.
If you are dealing with older people in a first aid situation, you need to be aware of a few things. There is the potential of reduced mobility, possible fragility of the patient such as thin delicate skin, hearing impairment and brittle bones.
As a result, always provide gentle support, assistance, and comfort wherever possible in all situations.