Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) Trauma Services is throwing a P.A.R.T.Y. for Campbell River Grade 10 students and volunteers are needed to help make the experience a meaningful one for students.
Amelia Smit, an injury prevention consultant for VIHA Trauma Services, says P.A.R.T.Y. – Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth – aims to expose teenagers to the life-altering consequences of risky lifestyle choices such as drunk driving and drug abuse.
P.A.R.T.Y. is a dynamic, interactive injury prevention and education health promotion program designed to give teens reality-based information on the causes and consequences of youth trauma. It takes them through a variety of interactive stations that illustrate the path a trauma patient follows through the hospital.
“These sessions are a real eye opener for teens,” said Smit. “Often their reaction is one of shock. Some are speechless. Others say they had no idea of the consequences of such risky behavior.”
About a dozen volunteers are needed to serve as supervisors, facilitators and mentors during the 2012-13 school year when up to eight half-day sessions of the P.A.R.T.Y. program will be offered at Campbell River Hospital for Grade 10 students who attend Carihi and Timberline schools. Volunteers must be over the age of 19 and submit to a standard volunteers’ criminal check by the RCMP.
“I’m looking for people who want to help make a positive difference in the lives of these teenagers,” said Smit.
To volunteer with the P.A.R.T.Y. program individuals can register online at www.volunteercr.ca or contact Althea Vermaas with the Campbell River Hospital Volunteer Resources Department at 250-850-2420.
P.A.R.T.Y. sessions begin with an introduction by an Emergency Room physician or trauma nurse who talks about his or her job, various risk taking behaviors, smart decision making and shows graphic pictures of crashes and trauma victims.
Amelia Smit, an injury prevention consultant with VIHA Trauma Services, says, “We emphasize making smart choices, wearing the gear, driving sober, getting trained and buckling up.
“We don’t tell them what not to do but try to provide them with realistic information about the potential consequences of their decisions recognizing that they are starting to make their own decisions as young adults.”
Students then rotate through four interactive stations where they follow the path of a trauma patient:
The students are shown an actual crashed car and the paramedics lead them through a description of what happened by looking at the damage. They then demonstrate some of the equipment used on scene and show the students what would happen at the scene and on route to the hospital.
The students see a casualty (their age) connected to all the equipment that would be used in a trauma when they arrive at the hospital. A trauma nurse works through the simulated scenario describing what it would look and feel like to be a trauma patient.
This station simulates what it might be like to be left with a permanent brain or spinal cord injury. Students listen to a tape of a brain-injured teen – who has been in speech therapy for two years, to understand how hard it is to communicate. They then fill in a simple form while looking in a mirror to simulate the disconnect of a brain injury and try to button up a shirt with a specialized device wearing mittens that simulate a loss of motor control of their hands.
An RCMP officer engages the students in some of the other implications of their decisions. The officer may demonstrate a roadside screening with goggles.
For more on P.A.R.T.Y. visit: http://www.viha.ca/trauma/party.htm