Review the Incident

Evaluate First Aid Response

In your role as a first aider, it is reasonable to ask yourself ‘Did I do a good job?’


You self-appraise by monitoring your own performance. You do that through observing others and the way that they perform and then evaluating your own performance.

Professional Development

Research current theory and professional practices in first aid and attend relevant training sessions.

Seek Feedback

Seek feedback from appropriate clinical expert/s. In a casualty or critical incident situation, the appropriate clinical expert could be an ambulance officer, paramedic or healthcare worker.

Guidelines for Seeking Feedback for feedback as soon as possible. specific questions e.g. how they think you managed the situation. the time and place for feedback. immediate feedback won’t be possible. If that is the case, carefully prepare your questions as close to the event as possible. How reliable are your sources? Will they give you honest feedback or do they have other agendas? Do they have a full understanding of your role as a first aider? Degree of Influence: Do you respect their position and opinion?

Psychological Impact on First Aiders

Stress Management

Being involved in a first aid situation can be stressful for many people. After an emergency, you should take part in any debriefing sessions or stress management support offered by your organisation.

Sometimes an event can be so traumatic or overwhelming that first aiders may experience significant stress. This may occur immediately after the incident, a few hours or days later, in some instances, weeks or months may pass before stress reactions appear.

It is important that you can recognise the symptoms of stress and know when to seek assistance. You can find out about professional counselling and debriefing services through your workplace supervisor, your local doctor or community health centre.

Guidelines for Coping with Incident Stress

If you are involved in first aid management it is a good idea to think about ways you can ‘de-stress’ so that the accident or incident doesn’t have a lasting and detrimental impact upon you. De-stressing strategies can include:

Debriefing the situation with a supervisor or clinical expert.

Write down what happened and your feelings about it.

Talking with a friend or colleague about how it felt to be involved.

Getting enough rest.

Physical exercise and activity.

Avoiding alcohol and drugs.

Incident stress may require professional help to prevent post-traumatic stress from developing.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a set of mental health reactions that can develop in people who have experienced or witnessed an event that threatens their life or safety or that of others around them.