Trauma Service to tour teens around parts of KGH

News / Education
By Peter Jeffrey

P.A.R.T.Y. program is an eyeopener for students about consequences of risky behaviours

Trauma Services at Kingston General Hospital will soon be hosting a high school field trip like no other. The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) program brings teenagers right into the hospital so they can see for themselves the possible results of risky behaviour.

"Like all hospitals, we see too many young people in our emergency department," says Cathy Dain, Advance Practice Nurse in Trauma Services. "Our intention with this program is not to shock the students but to get them thinking and to make them realize they are not invincible and things can happen to them."

The first group of students is scheduled to tour parts of KGH on Wednesday, April 24. The teenagers will visit our Emergency Department, our Intensive Care Unit and make a stop outside of the morgue. Along the way they will watch a video and also hear short talks from a range of experts, including nurses, physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, paramedics, police officers and a lawyer. They will also speak to someone around their age who was injured and survived and now wants to share their story.

"This program has been used by other hospitals for some time now and there is plenty of research showing itís been a great success in reaching teenagers and introducing options to reduce risky behaviours that include impaired driving, risky sports, and other dangerous activities," says Dain. "There are people working here who took part in it 15 years ago who say they still remember the impact it had on them."

Dain's two sons came into KGH recently to take part in a practice run of the tour. They say it quickly got them thinking.

"Certain parts of the presentation were graphic and frightening, but in a way that is informative and inspiring. They had my full attention with interesting and interactive components," says Aaron Dain, 14.

The goal now will be to host a group of 15 to 25 teenagers each month. The tour will be as unobtrusive as possible and each student will sign privacy and confidentiality agreements.

"It may be a few minutes of inconvenience for staff but everyone is supportive and agrees it's better to bring kids to the Emergency Department for 5 or 10 minutes than it is for us to take care of them when they are injured," she says.

For more information about the P.A.R.T.Y. program, check out their website here.

Or check them out on social media on Twitter: @party_program or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/THEPARTYPROGRAM.