Being a teacher is one of the most responsible jobs of all. These specialists educate children from an early age, explaining first the basic and then more complicated aspects of various subjects. For many children, teachers become role models whose example students follow in their lives. However, a teacher’s profession does not only entail proficiency in some areas of knowledge. Educators perform a variety of functions, including those of a psychologist, parent, caregiver, and mentor. One of the most significant roles played by teachers is the provision of a healthy and safe environment for every child in the classroom or school.
Hence, the selected topic of research is “Perspectives of High School Teachers on Adding First Aid Education as a Mandatory Class in Saudi Arabia Schools.” It is crucial to add first aid to the school curriculum and instruction since neglecting this aspect of school-child cooperation may lead to rather dramatic outcomes. Research indicates that poor safety regulations at schools may result in accidents harming pupils’ health or even putting their lives in danger (Alolah, Stewart, Panuwatwanich, & Mohamed, 2014). Thus, it is of utmost importance to include first aid lessons in the Saudi Arabia school curriculum to prevent incidents posing a risk to children, visitors, teachers, or other school workers.
If teachers are certified in first aid, they can further share their knowledge with students. The study by Behairy & Al-Batanony (2016) reports that an intervention program focused on first aid and life support has a positive effect on teachers’ ability to take care of accidents happening at school. Taranath, Senaikarasi, and Manchanda (2017) also remarked that educating teachers on reacting to children’s injuries promotes better healthcare outcomes. Although many of the located articles focus on primary school settings, it is relevant to assume that high school teachers need such knowledge not less than their colleagues working with younger pupils.
The research problem is that currently, Saudi Arabian schools do not ensure that young people’s health is given sufficient attention in the curriculum. However, it is noted in numerous research studies that school safety is rather significant, and both teachers and students should be trained on this issue. Alolah et al. (2014), Behairy and Al-Batanony (2016), De Buck et al. (2015), Hammett (2016), Joseph et al. (2015), Mobarak, Afifi, and Qulali (2015), and others provide evidence on the importance of first aid education. Scholars investigate a variety of health issues that may present difficulty in school settings if teachers and students lack sufficient knowledge of managing them. Many researchers investigate the problem of oral health and dental injuries that may occur at school (Alsadhan, 2018; Awad et al., 2017; Pani et al., 2014; Singh, Ingle, Kaur, & Yadav, 2015; Singh, 2017). The attention of the authors to this health issue signifies the importance of teachers’ readiness to resolve it quickly and efficiently.
The research problem finds its reflection in scholarly works analyzing other health problems that may arise when a child is at school. For instance, it is necessary to educate teachers and students on the complications of asthma and the ways of helping someone suffering from an asthma attack (Al Aloola et al., 2016). In this respect, the collaboration between parents and teachers is rather crucial (Al Aloola et al., 2017). Other breathing-related problems that attract scholars’ attention include epilepsy, anaphylaxis, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (Alqahtani, 2015; Vale, Smith, Said, Mullins, & Loh, 2015; Wilks, & Pendergast, 2017). Scholars also investigate school-based interventions on menstrual health (Haque, Rahman, Itsuko, Mutahara, & Sakisaka, 2014). All of these topics signify the importance of including first aid education in the school curriculum.
The main concepts identified from scholarly literature are as follows: first aid school safety training, students’ first aid knowledge, dental injuries, and oral health, epilepsy, menstrual health, and breathing problems. The latter concept includes three subconcepts: asthma, anaphylaxis, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Each of the issues singled out is closely interrelated with others. The first two concepts involve first aid education of teachers and students. The rest five concepts include different types of health hazards on which pupils and their educators should be trained.
Introduction to Research Topic
The selected topic aims at investigating to what extent teachers and high school students of Saudi Arabia schools are prepared to deal with emergencies related to health care. Scholarly literature offers many insights into the subject of investigation (Bashir & Bakarman, 2014; Reveruzzi, Buckley, & Sheehan, 2016). The key terms used in research are ‘first aid education,’ ‘emergency,’ ‘health care,’ and they do not require definitions since they are all commonly known concepts.
The independent variable is schools’ policies regarding first aid, and the dependent variable is students’ and teachers’ well-being. The research question is, “What is the relationship between schools’ first aid regulations and teachers’ and students’ welfare?” The following subquestions can be singled out:
- Does the certification of teachers influence their ability to provide first aid?
- Does the introduction of guidelines for teachers impact their skillfulness in managing emergencies?
The null hypothesis is that school policies and not the main predictors of teachers’ first aid choices. The sample is composed of teachers and students from several Saudi Arabia schools. The alternative hypotheses were developed based on the relationship between the variables, as well as questions raised in the literature reviewed:
- Implementing effective school first aid policies will result in positive health implications both for learners and teachers (directional);
- Educators’ approaches to providing first aid are grounded in their knowledge rather than school policies (directional);
- Learners’ well-being is their responsibility, and it is contingent on their skills (non-directional).
- Al Aloola, N. A., Saba, M., Nissen, L., Alewairdhi, H. A., Alaloola, A., & Saini, B. (2016). Development and evaluation of a school-based asthma educational program. Journal of Asthma, 54(4), 419-429.
- Al Aloola, N. A., Nissen, L., Alewairdhi, H. A., Al Faryan, N., & Saini, B. (2017). Parents’ asthma information needs and preferences for school-based asthma support. Journal of Asthma, 54(9), 946-956.
- Alolah, T., Stewart, R. A., Panuwatwanich, K., & Mohamed, S. (2014). Determining the causal relationships among balanced scorecard perspectives on school safety performance: Case of Saudi Arabia. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 68, 57-74.
- Alqahtani, J. M. (2015). Knowledge and practice of schoolteachers towards students with epilepsy in Khamis Mushate, Southern Saudi Arabia. Journal of Family and Community Medicine, 22, 163-168.
- Alsadhan, S. A. (2018). Teachers’ knowledge concerning dental trauma and its management in primary schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. International Dental Journal, 68(5), 306-313.
- Awad, M. A., AlHammadi, E., Malalla, M., Maklai, Z., Tariq, A., Al-Ali, B., … El Batawi, H. (2017). Assessment of elementary school teachers’ level of knowledge and attitude regarding traumatic dental injuries in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Dentistry, 2017, 1025324.
- Bashir, S. M., & Bakarman, M. A. (2014). Are our children in safe hands? Evaluating the preparedness of primary school staff in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in responding to health related emergencies. Life Science Journal, 11(11), 986-989.
- Behairy, S. A., & Al-Batanony, M. A. (2016). Effectiveness of first-aid and basic life support intervention program on school health advisors. Journal of Health, Medicine and Nursing, 24, 136-144.
- De Buck, E., Van Remoortel, H., Dieltjens, T., Verstraeten, H., Clarysse, M., Moens, O., Vandekerckhove, P. (2015). Evidence-based educational pathway for the integration of first aid training in school curricula. Resuscitation, 94, 8-22.
- Hammett, E. (2016). Fulfilling the first aid requirements in schools. British Journal of School Nursing, 11(7), 328-330.
- Haque, S. E., Rahman, M., Itsuko, K., Mutahara, M., & Sakisaka, K. (2014). The effect of a school-based educational intervention on menstrual health: An intervention study among adolescent girls in Bangladesh. BMJ Open, 4(7), e004607.
- Joseph, N., Narayanan, T., bin Zakaria, S., Nair, A. V., Belayutham, L., Subramanian, A. M., & Gopakumar, K. G. (2015). Awareness, attitudes and practices of first aid among school teachers in Mangalore, south India. Journal of Primary Health Care, 7(4), 274-281.
- Mobarak, A. S., Afifi, R. M., & Qulali, A. (2015). First aid knowledge and attitude of secondary school students in Saudi Arabia. Health, 7, 1366-1378.
- Pani, S. C., Hillis, H., Chaballout, T., Al Enazi, W., AlAttar, Y., & Aboramadan, M. (2014). Knowledge and attitude of Saudi teachers of students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder towards traumatic dental injuries. Dental Traumatology, 30(3), 222-226.
- Reveruzzi, B., Buckley, L., & Sheehan, M. (2016). School-based first aid training programs: A systematic review. Journal of School Health, 86(4), 266-272.
- Singh, M., Ingle, N. A., Kaur, N., & Yadav, P. (2015). Evaluation of knowledge and attitude of school teachers about emergency management of traumatic dental injury. Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, 5(2), 108-113.
- Singh, P. (2017). Assessment of knowledge and attitude related to oral health among government primary school teachers. Journal of Advanced Medical and Dental Sciences Research, 5(12), 4-7.
- Taranath, M., Senaikarasi, R. M., & Manchanda, K. (2017). Assessment of knowledge and attitude before and after a health education program in East Madurai primary school teachers with regard to emergency management of avulsed teeth. Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, 35(1), 63-67.
- Vale, S., Smith, J., Said, M., Mullins, R. J., & Loh, R. (2015). ASCIA guidelines for prevention of anaphylaxis in schools, pre-schools and childcare: 2015 update. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 51, 949-954.
- Wilks, J., & Pendergast, D. (2017). Skills for life: First aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation in schools. Health Education Journal, 76(8), 1009-1023.