Name of the activity: Project 4 Life!
Country/NMO: Slovenia (SloMSIC)
Program: Teaching Medical Skills
Contact information: [email protected]
Type of the activity: Capacity Building
Project For Life (4 Life), which was founded in 2007 by Maribor Medical Students’ Association, Slovenia, offers goal-oriented educating for the laic population in the field of first aid and promotion of first aid as an ethical, moral and legal responsibility of every individual.
The project encourages the laics to act properly in a given urgent situation – that is why we frequently organize promotions of the project on various locations, where a limited number of interested participants have the chance to theoretically and practicaly renew their knowledge of the basic procedures of reanimation and other urgent situations. Skills and knowledge of first aid must be firm and regularly reviewed and renewed. This is the only effective way to make people less frightened, thus preventing possible errors and easing the work of the professional team, which ultimately increases the chances of survival and successful rehabilitation of the injured.
The core of the problem is in the mentality of your average laic, who does not act according to prescribed guidelines in emergency situations or does not act at all. Sociologists call this phenomena »The bystander effect« – in case of emergency, the bystanders become passive spectators in hope of someone else taking responsibility.
In Slovenia every individual is bound by law to offer first aid to people in need, regardless of his level of education, nationality, religion, gender or race. Nevertheless, the so called “by-stander effect” happen on a daily bases. It means that a crowd is gathered around the injured person, but no one helps, because everyone is hoping that someone else would or will approach the scene of the incident. Furthermore, the crucial part of a successful implementation of the first aid techniques is precisely the immediate reaction and provision of assistance of the by-stander, which allows the injured person his/her survival. The question that comes to mind is: What is stopping the by-stander from getting involved and actively helping? By our evaluation the main reason for not approaching is the self-assessed lack of knowledge of the by-stander.
Target groups and beneficiaries:
Our target population is aged between 5 and 80 that is interested in first aid. According to our experiences, age is not a limitation for running the course, the only potential problem with the elderly is their physical capabilities (e.g. resuscitation).
According to psychologists, first aid should be taught at a relatively early age – primary school students are supposedly very comprehensive. Still, the course was well accepted with participants of all ages, also shown by the results of our various polls regarding quality. The reason is in the relaxed, interesting and innovative approach towards the participants.
Beneficiaries include all individuals (or groups) in need of necessary first aid.
Objectives and indicators of success:
1. To increase the response time of the laic population in an emergency.
2. To increase the level of CPR knowledge and urgent first aid actions among the laic population.
3. In the following year we are going to do at least 30 workshops and 5 promotions.
4. To raise public awareness of first aid (knowing the importance of CPR and recognition of emergency situations, knowing the newest first aid guidelines, knowing how and where to acquire first aid skills).
5. To increase the chances of survival of the injured after the professional medical treatment due to quick and properly implemented first aid techniques of the laic population.
Since the year 2012 we have carried out over 200 courses and 50 promotions with which we have educated over 5500 people who now have the knowledge of the Basic Life Support procedures. Since the project was established in 2007, we have already educated over 11 000 people at our workshops.
– Promotions: The instructors promote the project and present its activities, future locations and how to apply for free courses. There is also a demonstration, featuring CPR with the help of reanimation mannequins and other accessories.
– Courses for laic population: The course is divided into a theoretical and practical part, together lasting two hours. The theoretical part is carried out by medical student that is part of the project for more than 2 years. At least 4 instructors take part in the practical part of the lectures. The participants are divided into 4 basic groups, and attend the following lectures: CPR with the use of automated external defibrillator (AED), a variety of different grips, positions of the injured, immobilization and caretaking of larger wounds. After the demonstration, instructors encourage participants to try the techniques for themselves under their guiance and also point out possible mistakes. The instructors also answer any question the participants might have.
– Internal courses: We have special courses for all members of the project and just for new members where they gain the knowledge they need to become the member and learn about the courses.
Plans for evaluation:
The evaluation of the project is done on two different levels. The direct evaluation is done by an opinion poll, filled out by the participants after the course. Using these polls, the participants evaluate their knowledge with criticism before the educational process and after the course is complete, they can determine how much they’ve learned from the course. The polls also include questions that determine laics’ views of first aid and any potential reasons for fear and lack of willingness to help. Questions regarding adequacy of the course and theme emphasis (whether some of them have been handled too broadly or lacked attention towards them) are also included. The participants also grade the team – the lecturer, the instructors and the overall organization of the course.
The indirect evaluation is done by using statistical data, acquired from various national bureaus and institutions (The Statistics Bureau, the Ministry of Health) and above all from medical institutions, that carry out pre-hospital urgent activity (Urgent Medicine Union). The mentioned institutions have standard protocols, used to extract relevant data for our project
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