The result of this study revealed that only 41.1% of the respondents have good knowledge of first aid. The finding of this study is in line with previous studies conducted in Addis Ababa, 40.0% (14), Debretabor, 45.8% (12), and Jimma, Ethiopia 44.4% (13). According to the participant’s response, 85.8% of the respondents report as they give first aid for injuries and illness however less than half of the participants have good knowledge. It implies that some of the teachers exercise first aid interventions without basic knowledge. It shall be given attention and first aid training to equip school teachers with first aid knowledge to give evidence-based first aid for accidents.
The finding of this study was higher than a study conducted in Saudi Khamis mushyt city, 19.6% (19). The difference might be due to variation in sample size and socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents. On the other hand, the result of this study was lower than the studies conducted in Malaysia 77.4% (15), Iraq 95% (16), Indonesia 97% (17), and Nigeria 66.5% (17). The possible reason for this variation might be due to differences in a school setup, socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents, and variation in the measurement.
This study revealed that 64.8% of kindergarten and elementary school teachers had a favorable attitude towards first aid. This finding was in line with a study conducted in Saud Arabia (67%) (22) and Riyadh (68.4%) (23). This might be due to the similarities of teachers in academic activities in the school. However, this finding was lower than studies conducted in Debre tabor, Ethiopia (75%) (12), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (75%) (14), and Jatinangor (71.5%) (17). This discrepancy might be due to the variation of teacher’s academic performance, knowledge, training about first aid, and the school settings across those areas.
In the current study, 85.8% of the teachers who encountered children in need of first aid gave first aid to the child. This finding is relatively consistent with a study conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (89.7%) (14). However, it is higher than studies conducted in Debre Tabor, Ethiopia (64%), Jimma, Ethiopia (52.1%), Khamis Mushayt City, Saudi Arabia (54.9%), and Indonesia (78.8%) (12, 13, 17, 19). The possible justification for this difference might be due to the difference in data collection tool used in each study, study participants, and knowledge level. The current study was conducted among kindergarten and elementary school teachers whereas the previous studies were conducted among either kindergarten or elementary school teachers.
Working experience, school level, school type, and having information about first aid were significantly associated with knowledge towards first aid. The odds of having good knowledge were nearly three times higher among teachers who had 11–20 years of experience compared with those teachers who had less than ten years of experience. This finding was supported by studies conducted in Debre tabor, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, Nigeria, Malaysia, Al-Qassim Saudi Arabia, and Khamis Mushyt city Saudi Arabia (12, 14, 15, 18–20). This might be due to learning from experience in addition to facing individuals in need of first aid, training on first aid, and pre-hospital service. The finding of this study revealed that special consideration should be given to the newly employed teachers.
The odds of having good knowledge were three higher among elementary school teachers compared with kindergarten school teachers. It might be due to the difference in the level of education. According to the result of this study, almost all of the elementary school teachers were diploma and degree holders while kindergarten school teachers were certificate. This implies that special attention should be given to kindergarten school teachers since they give care for kids who didn’t aware of their environment and susceptible to accidents. Private school teachers were four times higher to be knowledgeable compared with teachers who work at governmental schools. This might be due to the difference in a school setup. Most of the time private schools are business-oriented, competitive, and well equipped with infrastructures including first aid kits. Similarly, Participants who had previous information about first aid were two times higher to be knowledgeable compared with their counterparts. This finding is supported by studies conducted in Addis Ababa (17) and Debretabor, Ethiopia (12). This might be due to having previous information regarding first aid leads to a higher score of knowledge-related questions than respondents who didn’t have information about the issue.
School-level, school type, and working experience were significantly associated with the attitude towards first aid. Teachers who work in elementary schools were five times more likely to have a favorable attitude towards first aid compared with teachers who work in kindergarten schools. This might be due to those teachers who work in primary schools were more knowledgeable about first aid since the school level determines the teacher’s competency. Private school teachers were 55% more likely to have a favorable attitude towards first aid than teachers who work in governmental schools. This might be due to private schools might have good standards and structures of the school including first aid kits and their teachers also might have strict control since private schools are business-oriented. Similarly, the working experience was significantly associated with the attitude of teachers towards first aid. Teachers who had working experience of less than or equal to ten years were 67% more likely to have a favorable attitude compared with teachers who had working experience of greater than or equal to 21. This finding was supported by other studies (14), (24), (25). This might be due to those teachers with long time experience give less attention to first aid because mostly they are old age and their academic status is diploma whereas younger age groups of teachers were degree holders.
This study has some limitations: There might be a possibility of social desirability and recall bias. We were unable to identify factors associated with practice due to the variation in the type of cases requiring first aid. The generalizability of the findings to schools in other parts of the country might be compromised since the study was conducted in one city. We were also unable to make an adequate comparison with other studies due to the lack of similar studies.