by Danielle Parks, Customer Impact Editor

It is almost the end of the 2014, and businesses are looking into how they can improve this coming year. One of the facets of any business that might be reviewed is that of employee training. I am curious to know how many businesses offer training on how to handle medical emergencies.

When I used to work in a restaurant, I was given zero information on what to do should anyone, guests or a coworker, be in need of CPR or even basic first aid. Zero. Now, I can’t help but to look back on all of the times that it was just myself, a server, and maybe a manager in the restaurant. What if something had happened? I know exactly how I would have reacted. I would have panicked and frozen on the spot, at least for a moment. Of course, it is probable that the manager had general knowledge of what to do, but what if the manager had stepped out for a moment? What if, for whatever reason, it came down to me to help?

I fully understand that it might not be logical to ensure that every employee is CPR certified. That is not necessarily practical or cost-effective. However, it is rather shocking to me that at least general knowledge of what to do or who to contact should someone need immediate medical attention was not provided to me on that job. Sure, you can say that it’s common sense! Just call 911! However, minutes and even seconds matter in those situations. Is there more that could be done?

Even if all the employee was told to do was to call 911, clear the area to offer safety and privacy, clear a route for emergency personnel when they arrive, and even try to find a medical professional that happened to be on site at the time, this would be hugely beneficial to the person in need. It could mean the difference between life and death if an employee in a panicked state of mind could fall back on basic training instead of second-guessing themselves.

The ideal situation would be to put your shift leaders or managers through official training and certification requirements. That way, at least one employee at all times would be there to fully step in.

When looking over your employee training requirements for this coming year, consider emergency situations. Consider ensuring that at least one person who has gone through the necessary and official certifications is present at all times, and ensure that each employee has at least general training on what to do. This goes beyond customer service that your company can offer. This could save lives.



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