In Vietnam, ‘injury’ kills more people than any single disease or infection. Road traffic accidents are the number one cause of death, followed closely by drowning. Ambulance response times are often slow in both urban and rural areas, and first aid knowledge in the community is low. In the event of an accident or medical emergency, knowing best practice, evidence based first aid can make a huge difference.
Guest Safety should be the Number 1 Priority
There should be nothing more important to a tour operator in Vietnam than guest safety. Guests book tours with companies with the expectation that they will be safe. Prevention should always be the first step. Tour companies should be actively risk assessing their activities and putting in place sufficient controls to minimize risks to guest safety.
Despite controls, accidents and medical emergency do happen. When they happen, it is vital that tour guides can respond appropriately, professionally and safely to provide the best treatment for their guests.
If a guest is injured or suffers medical emergency on a tour in Vietnam, tour operators have a duty to provide the best assistance they reasonably can. It may be quite a while before advanced medical help arrives. If tour companies cannot provide basic first aid when it is needed then that is a significant failure in guest safety and care.
First Aid training for tour companies should be relevant to the risks of the specific tour and taught in line with international best practice guidelines. Poor quality first aid training that does not engage participants and properly test vital practical skills is of little benefit – and in some cases, incorrectly performing first aid can cause further damage. Our training courses are taught in line with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines – and teach participants to understand their limits as well. It is important to select a first aid provider that adheres to the latest evidence-based techniques.
Other benefits of learning first aid for tour companies
Aside from having an ethical responsibility to be able to provide the best possible support for guests in the event of an emergency, there are other benefits:
- Show your customers you care – Safety is valued by customers, and showing you care about their safety by undergoing quality first aid training can help attract more customers. Some guests and other tour operators may even require you have certified first aiders in order to work with you.
- Team Building – Learning first aid can be a fun activity that can help teams work better together. Learning to work together as a team in the event of a first aid incident is key – and learning this through first aid can be a valuable team building activity.
- Don’t make it worse… – If staff are not properly trained in first aid and have to deal with injury or medical emergency, they could make the situation worse. Not only is this risking harm to a guest, it is also unfair to put tour guides in a position where they need to provide help to guests without the correct knowledge on how to do so.
- Accidents happen – no matter how well risk is managed, there is always a risk of injury or medical emergency. The way a tour company manages such situations will affect not only affect the treatment of the guest, but also the image of the tour company.
For tourists in Vietnam
Tourists in Vietnam should be aware of the risk of injury and ensure that they book with reputable travel companies who operate safely and have first aid trained tour guides. Do not be afraid to ask a tour company about their safety procedures and first aid training. Reputable companies should be able to provide evidence of their first aid certification and standards. If a tour company cannot show evidence of first aid certification – especially if you are looking at adventure tours such as motorbike tours – we recommend choosing another company.
VSLC currently provides training to a number of leading tour operators in Vietnam, including Oxalis Adventure Tours, Asia Motions, Outward Bound Vietnam and Hoi An Motorbike Adventures. If you are looking for first aid training for a tour company in Vietnam, please get in touch for a quote, or check out our upcoming public courses.