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Project Report

Community-based first aid: a program report on the intersection of community-based participatory research and first aid education in a remote Canadian Aboriginal community

Submitted: 13 February 2013
Revised: 9 July 2013
Accepted: 23 August 2013
Published: 15 April 2014

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Author(s) : VanderBurgh D, Jamieson R, Beardy J, Ritchie SD, Orkin A.

Stephen Ritchie

Citation: VanderBurgh D, Jamieson R, Beardy J, Ritchie SD, Orkin A.  Community-based first aid: a program report on the intersection of community-based participatory research and first aid education in a remote Canadian Aboriginal community. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2014; 14: 2537. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/subviewnew.asp?ArticleID=2537 (Accessed 1 July 2016)

ABSTRACT

Context:  Community-based first aid training is the collaborative development of locally relevant emergency response training. The Sachigo Lake Wilderness Emergency Response Education Initiative was developed, delivered, and evaluated through two intensive 5-day first aid courses. Sachigo Lake First Nation is a remote Aboriginal community of 450 people in northern Ontario, Canada, with no local paramedical services. These courses were developed in collaboration with the community, with a goal of building community capacity to respond to medical emergencies.
Issue:  Most first aid training programs rely on standardized curriculum developed for urban and rural contexts with established emergency response systems. Delivering effective community-based first aid training in a remote Aboriginal community required specific adaptations to conventional first aid educational content and pedagogy.
Lessons learned:  Three key lessons emerged during this program that used collaborative principles to adapt conventional first aid concepts and curriculum: (1) standardized approaches may not be relevant nor appropriate; (2) relationships between course participants and the people they help are relevant and important; (3) curriculum must be attentive to existing informal and formal emergency response systems. These lessons may be instructive for the development of other programs in similar settings.

Key words: Aboriginal health, community-based participatory research, emergency responders, first aid education, prehospital medicine.

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