Initial field assessment is a critical step when providing first aid at the scene of accident. It is essential for every first aider to developgood assessment skills in order to provide the most efficient care.
When you attend a basic first aid training course, you would likely hear the instructor talk about‘surveying the scene’.When you arrive at the scene of accident, the first thing you do is to survey the scene. Do not get confused with your idea of ‘survey,’ as if surveying polls or surveying a piece of land. When a training instructor talks about doing a scene survey, he means assessing the environment,the situation, and the victim. It is the initial field assessment that sets what procedures will follow.
Always remember that assessment is the heart of first aid. Without prompt and accurate assessment, you can end up rendering poor or inefficient emergency care. You perform assessment even before you provide care. What you do as soon as you arrive at the scene of accident is to immediately survey the scene and the situation.
You can get quick information about the situation from your observation of the scene; interview with the victim or bystanders; identification of signs and labels, and other clues that can be found at the scene of accident. Gather as many information quickly. While making your initial field assessment, you should be ready to take action. Think of what initial steps to take.
Your field assessment should be appropriate but take only a few minutes to complete. The initial scene survey should detect urgent problems and establish a priority of care. From here you will base the first aid measures to take. As you go along providing first aid, you should continue to assess the field as it can change rapidly.You might find other casualties or the victim develops other symptoms or a bystander suddenly becomes a victim too. Your priorities may somehow change as the situation or the victim’s situation changes.
Although there are established orders of actions for specific emergency situation, the first aider should be flexible and critical-minded in order to handle the situation well. You should evaluate your field assessment as you gather them. Always remember that every emergency situation poses unique problems and priorities. The priority of first aid depends on the safety of the scene, the number of casualties, the type of emergency situation, and the general conditions of the victims. During your first aid training course, you will be taught how to set your priorities based on the field assessment you make.
The field assessment is composed of primary and secondary survey. Until you understand the importance of field assessment, you may not be able to provide proper and accurate care for victims.