Health Education to reduce Risk Taking

Year 11 students from Ararat College learnt about critical incident responses and rehabilitation when they visited the Urgent Care Centre at East Grampians Health Service.

The visit ended the Preventing Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth (PARTY) program that took place throughout term three.

Based on the philosophies of the Alfred Hospital program, PARTY also included presentations by the local police, Ambulance Victoria, Fit2Drive road safety presentation and the SpinChat spinal injury awareness program.

The program aims to give participants a snapshot of the possible traumatic and often preventable consequences of risk related behaviour that can lead to traumatic injury.

With the right education, major trauma incidents, particularly as a result of the use of drugs and alcohol and reckless driving and assault, can be significantly reduced.

Now in its third year, EGHS Clinical Teacher Deborah Bennett said the program can really affect students.

“It gives them a reality check, that sometimes things can go really badly,” she said.

Each year a scenario is developed, this year an accident involving four young people travelling from a party under the influence of drugs and alcohol, two sitting in the back of a ute. The students suggest these scenarios each year.

Staff at East Grampians Health Service then took the students through the process of how they would respond to the resulting accident scenario.

Urgent Care Centre staff provided students with a real world timeline for a critical incident response.

The students then visited the Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology departments at the EGHS Community Centre, where the staff spoke of the lengthy and difficult road to recovery after trauma.

Students participated in hands on demonstrations and got a real sense of the many challenges of rehabilitation and the massive impacts on the patient’s life and family.

The reality of the situations demonstrated hit home with many of the students.

“I learnt that a short bit of fun can lead to lifelong consequences,” Bianca .

Students Patrick and Kate agreed, with Kate saying what she found most interesting was what happens after an accident and how the ease in which you go about day to day activities is affected.

The event was organised as part of an ongoing partnership between Ararat College and East Grampians Health service.

“We would like to sincerely thank the staff of East Grampians Health Service for donating their valuable time, support and patience, and for allowing the students to have such a great opportunity to learn,” Adolescent Health Nurse Leonie Cowey said.

“We hope that by knowing the reality of trauma the students will think twice before placing themselves in avoidable dangerous situations.”

Senior school Coordinator Ellie McDougall said the staff at East Grampians Health Service were making a great contribution in educating local young people.

“Our students are now better equipped to help their friends in life threatening situations and keeping each other safe,” she said.


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