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Bangkok Faces: Debbie Thompson, Founder, First Aid Solutions

Your Name: Debbie Thompson

Job Title: Founder and Lead Instructor/Trainer, First Aid Solutions

What is your nationality and background?

I started nursing in the UK, in my home city, Liverpool. This was when I was 17. At the age of 24 I went to Saudi Arabia to work in a burns unit in a military hospital. While I was there I met my husband. We then returned to the UK where I became a ward sister at St. James’ University Teaching Hospital in Leeds and during that 3 years we married and our son was born.

In 1992 we returned to Saudi Arabia where I worked as a Surgical Nurse Manager for 3 years. I was responsible for 5 units; male surgery, coronary care, burns and lithotripsy. I had 5 ward sisters with a total of 120 nursing staff. This was a challenging position dealing with multinational staff and patients. The next 5 years were spent in Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia. During this period, I was able to take time off from my career to focus on family life; my daughter was born in Penang in 1996. On returning to the UK, I resumed my nursing career.

In 2002 we found ourselves back in Saudi Arabia, where I became the school nurse at the British School Riyadh. It was then decided to make Australia and the Gold Coast home, and in 2004 I started working for a private ophthalmic practice as a theatre and ophthalmic nurse specialist. With our son at university 2010; my daughter and I decided to join my husband in Bangkok.

What is your profession?

I am Registered General Nurse and the founder of First Aid Solutions Bkk Co., Ltd., a First Aid and CPR training provider.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

I think to be successful as a trainer you have to be passionate about what you’re teaching, keep current, make the content interesting for participants and relevant to their needs. I think it is my responsibility to make the knowledge of CPR and first aid into lessons that are relaxed enough for individuals to feel at ease so they gain confidence and perform the practical skills. Although it may not be necessary to be a nurse in order to teach CPR, I think my career, experience and knowledge are an invaluable asset.

How did you get involved in your profession?

I have always wanted to be a nurse and I love teaching others, so when I was approached by Dr. Donna (Med Consult) regarding leading a CPR and First Aid workshop, it seemed a great opportunity to combine my two loves, still being involved in a medical field and being able to teach.

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

I am fortunate enough that several international schools have allowed me to teach students not only in preparation for the International Award and Duke of Edinburgh, but also as an after school activity for younger students. I provide courses for parents and teachers/care providers and I truly believe that the skills that they gain are valuable and potentially save lives. You are never too young (or too old) to learn (refresh) life skills!

What challenges do your face in this role?

My challenge is to maintain a high quality service, keep up to date with the global standards and to make the teaching process non-threatening, interactive, enjoyable and to give people the confidence to practice skills so that they are prepared to deal with a medical emergency.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

I hope to teach CPR and First Aid to as many people as possible in Thailand and within the region. I believe that the skills we teach are skills for life.

Who or what inspires you?

I admire philanthropists like Bill and Miranda Gates but maybe more than them I am inspired by the people you don’t hear of who give their time freely for the benefit of others.

Only a Bangkok local would know…

I think getting boat across from Rama 4 pier to Bang Krachao and hiring a bike (100 baht) on the other side is a really great day out. The bike people are kind enough to provide a map so you can find your way around. (The elevated pathways might not be suitable for all.)

My favorite time to go is on the weekends when you can go visit the Bang Nam Pheung Floating Market. Before you turn left off the main road towards the market there is a nice place for a coffee on the right and the market is a great place for lunch with plenty of good local food. It’s a good way to spend the morning and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For more info, please visit www.firstaidsolutionsbkk.com.


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