3 Training Essentials for Health Care Providers

Health care providers are the backbone of our health care system. They are trained to promote good health, to care for and comfort the sick, and to work to improve the delivery of care. Although nursing and medicine are the two largest groups of health providers, there are many other types of health care providers. Other examples of health care givers include pharmacists, chiropractors, dentists, health managers, home care support workers, and practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine.

Due to the nature of their work, care providers face unique occupational risks including infections, needle injuries, back injuries, violence, and stress. Adhering to good job safety and injury prevention practices can help reduce these risks and other health problems. Different types of job-specific training are necessary depending on the role of the care provider, but all providers can benefit from these three types of essential training:

1. CPR: Also called Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers or CPR for Professional Rescuers, this is a comprehensive CPR course that covers CPR and removing airway obstructions for adults, infants, and children. This class also covers ventilation devices, barriers for performing rescue breathing, and two-person CPR techniques. Qualified Health care professionals should have this level of CPR training which also likely includes instruction on using an AED.
2. AED (automated external defibrillator): Technological advances have made new AED devices very simply to use. Normally they include voice instructions and diagrams that are simple enough for a child to use. However, formal AED training is important to ensure that care providers are familiar with the functionality and use of the device. AED training gives health care providers the confidence they need to quickly and properly use the device in an emergency.
3. Bloodborne Pathogens: Workers may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens in the course of their regular work through exposure to blood and other body fluids. Bloodborne pathogens present significant health risks such as the contraction of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and HIV. Exposure to bloodborne pathogens can be minimized by getting comprehensive training that includes information on identifying bloodborne pathogens, regulations, workplace programs, personal protection, and exposure follow-up.

By receiving sufficient training in CPR, AED usage, and bloodborne pathogens, providers will be well equipped to care for others and manage their own occupational risks.