If you take on a role as a student residential adviser (RA) at a university or residential college, it's important that you take on a first aid course that covers some of the important health issues for teenagers and young adults. Here are some specific issues that RA's first aid training needs to cover.
Mental health issues
The first episode of many mental health issues can arise in university. The combination of the age groups, the additional stresses of university life and using alcohol and drugs can exacerbate and in some cases trigger mental health issues. It's important for residential advisor to be able to identify mental health issues, and help to create a safe environment for the student while you access additional psychiatry help as needed.
Alcohol or other drug overdose
Many young adults embrace their new independence with indulging in alcohol and other drugs—and at time this can lead to overindulging or overdose. This can appear as though the user is simply sleeping or unwell, but can be a much more serious issue and require expert medical attention.
Residential advisers need to be able to identify whether an issue is related to drug and alcohol overuse, so that they can access additional medical treatment as required. Additionally RAs need to be able to create a rapport with students so that they feel comfortable coming to you, even if they have been behaving illegally. Delaying treatment or lying about the activities that have occurred can lead to delays in finding treatment, and potentially the wrong treatment being offered to the ill patient.
Many young adults get up to physical hijinks during this new stage of their life. In combination with alcohol and other drug use this can lead to many small accidents requiring minor treatment. First aiders need to be able to dress and tape up small injuries so that you can get the patient to rest, and get treated by a GP later on. It's important to be able to provide some emergency care for small accidents to prevent unnecessary trips to the emergency room.
Appropriate first aid courses, that cover not only CPR, but also some of the specific first aid issues that are common for young adults who are starting out in their university studies can help RAs to be effective in their role. Student housing groups can even organise in-house training that covers specific risks at their facility, based on previous accident history.