Having a medical emergency is a worry for everyone. Especially if you are not at home and your domestic helper takes care of your children or elderly parents. You may consider sending your domestic helper to a domestic helper first aid training, but the training can be expensive and it may take you a while to find the right course.
The domestic helper has already received first aid training in her home country, is it good enough?
Every Indonesian and Filipino domestic helper has to undergo mandatory training in her home country before she can work in Hong Kong. In some cases, this training is 1 week, in other cases, it can be as long as 2 months. During the training domestic helpers are taught everything from cooking Chinese dishes to folding the bed, to what to do in a medical emergency, depending on the topics the training covers.
Although your domestic helper may have undergone a first aid training at the training school, it can be very basic and she may not remember everything as she is learning a lot of things at the same time. Most employers seem to agree that the domestic helpers will receive the best training on the job. The best way is to go over medical emergency scenarios together so that you have an understanding of how much she knows.
Is it enough to discuss emergency situations with your domestic helper?
If you believe you have sufficient medical knowledge, you can sit down with your domestic helper and discuss the common injuries and medical emergencies that can occur. Show her where your first aid kit is or prepare one for her with everything in there that is needed. Discuss step by step what to do in case of bleeding, burns, poisoning or unconsciousness. You may even want to show her how to apply a bandage, how to lay an unconscious person and so on.
But most of the time, you are not an expert either and may have an only basic understanding of medical situations. It is often much harder to teach someone and you may not be able to identify what exactly your domestic helper is doing wrong.
Is it enough to tell your domestic helper to call the emergency number?
In case there is a major issue like heavy blood loss, falling on the head, electrocution, poisoning and so on, she should call 999 and request an ambulance. You should prepare all the important numbers including the building management, your doctor and the emergency number at a visible place e.g. on the fridge door.
However, in case of an accident, sometimes calling the ambulance is not enough. She may have to perform CPR or cover heavy bleeding before the ambulance arrives. Actions taken in the first few minutes following an accident can make a dramatic difference.
Different domestic helper first aid training courses
There are many first aid training courses in Hong Kong. You can choose to send her a to a first aid course dedicated to domestic helpers because the training will be catered to the situations they encounter. We’ve listed some domestic helper first aid courses available in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Red Cross
Duration: 8 hours
Price per person: HK$340 (English class), HK$280 (Cantonese class)
Medium: English or Cantonese
Best First Aid
Duration: 3 hours
Price per person: HK$1,250
Location: Sai Kung
Matilda International Hospital
Duration: 8 hours
Price per person: HK$1,500
Location: The Peak
Make sure you check if your domestic helper is getting a certification, and if so for how long it’s valid. It may be good to invest in renewing it if she is still with you after 2 to 3 years.