RATIONALE AND KEY POINTS: This article aims to help nurses to perform first aid in a safe, effective and patient-centred manner. First aid comprises a series of simple, potentially life-saving steps that an individual can perform with minimal equipment. Although it is not a legal requirement to respond to an emergency situation outside of work, nurses have a professional duty to respond and provide care within the limits of their competency. First aid is the provision of immediate medical assistance to an ill or injured person until definitive medical treatment can be accessed. First aid can save lives and it is essential that nurses understand the basic principles. REFLECTIVE ACTIVITY: Clinical skills articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of: 1. Your skill in performing first aid and any areas where you may need to extend your knowledge. 2. How reading this article will change your practice. Subscribers can upload their reflective accounts at: rcni.com/portfolio .
Keywords: assessment; bleeding; burns; clinical procedures; clinical skills; first aid; fractures; recovery position.