More than 80 Grade 10 students visited Victoria General Hospital this week to participate in the Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth program (P.A.R.T.Y). The highly successful program teaches teens about the consequences of risky behaviour through sessions with healthcare professionals, police and people who have suffered brain trauma as a result of injury.
While Thursday’s sessions focused primarily on alcohol-related injuries, the importance of wearing seat belts and wearing a helmet while participating in biking, skateboarding or skiing were also addressed.
Upon arrival at the hospital, students were greeted by an ER physician who presented an informative lecture on safety and making good choices. The students were then broken into groups, where they participated in an interactive workshop on head and spine injuries. The students were asked to put socks on their hands and then button up a shirt or write with a pencil. The activity gives students an idea of the difficulties brain-injured people have with everyday tasks.
A police liaison was on hand to present a seminar on the effects of alcohol on driving. The students wore goggles to simulate different alcohol levels in the body. Next, they witnessed a dramatization of a crash victim arriving at the ER with a severe injury. Using fake blood and real medical equipment and tools, doctors acted out the step-by-step, life-saving procedures used to stabilize a victim.
Offered by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, the P.A.R.T.Y program visit has been part of the SMUS Planning 10 curriculum for a number of years. “The programme is valuable because it has such a strong impact on the students.” says Planning 10 teacher Ms. Rea Casey.
Later in the visit, the students were escorted to the morgue, where a former coroner and funeral director talked to the group about drugs. Lastly, they heard from a trauma survivor about the life-changing impact injuries have.
“All the activities were powerful and I will remember this experience in the future,” says Grade 10 student Emma Abrioux. “Students shouldn’t expect a light-hearted trip; they should take everything seriously and listen carefully because all of the information they offer is very valuable.”
P.A.R.T.Y T-shirt Design Contest
The P.A.R.T.Y program is looking for a new design for its volunteer t-shirts. The winner of the contest will be awarded a complete Young Drivers of Canada course, worth approximately $1000. All students who attended the P.A.R.T.Y programme during the 2007-08 school year are eligible. For more details see Ms. Casey.