On 13 March 2014, eleven Senior VCAL students visited the Alfred Hospital as part of the Prevent Alcohol Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y) program.
This programme aims to raise awareness in teenagers and young L and P plate drivers of the dangers and possible consequences of drinking alcohol and making poor choices whilst affected by alcohol.
The program involved health staff talks and visual materials, a session with a paramedic, visits to a Trauma bay where accident casualties are first taken, and the Intensive Care Unit.
We met patients who had been the victim of accidents. Students talked to physiotherapists, prosthetic medical staff, and lots of hospital carers whose work brought them into close contact with accidents and trauma in young people. We met a carer dog called Cougar, and tried our hand at getting dressed wearing a selection of braces on our backs, necks and legs. We tried to get into a shower from a wheelchair, and had a go at using crutches, walking with our eyes bandaged, and being raised in a bed without being able to move.
The day was very demanding emotionally and the students were agreed that the day had given them much food for thought. Whilst we had fun finding out how hard it is to deal with injury and how life-changing accidents can be, we were also very moved and sad at the troubles caused to families and friends by accidents which can be prevented.
Thoughts from some of our stduents:
Hayley B - "We went to see the room where they tell families if they won't make it, then we went into a room where they are put into Intensive Care. We met a girl and her family and they don't know how she will come out of this or even if she will. It made me sad."
Alex M - "We went around the hospital and met someone who was just in an acident and was in a coma ..... it really touched me because it was hard to see the family the way they were."
Jayde C - "We learned about the brain and when you have a car crash, what the brain will look like. We met a bloke who fell off his BMX bike and broke his spine. Now he's in a wheelchair."
Ben N - "I went to one of the most important places ever, the Alfred Hospital. I learned about how people can cause accidents in which they end up getting injured. I also learned about what equipment the doctors and nurses use for the injured patients."
Nathan N - "When I listened to the patients tragic stories I felt a little sad. I felt sorry for them because they are not the normal person that they used to be and those patients are going to be like that forever."
Naomi S - "I found the excursion to be such an eye-opener ...... we got to do practicals and experience what it would be like being them or severley injured."
Shazi C - "We visited a patient who was in an induced coma, she had tubes going down her throat to manage her breathing, feed her and she was on a drip to keep her hydrated. It was really sad because a couple of her friends and her mum and sister were there, and when the nurse said that they didn't know if she'd make it, but if she were to, she wouldn't be the same person, they all started crying. It was really hard to see them suffering over it."
See the link below for more information.