To Party or Not to Party?
You can retake a class but you can’t relive a party.
On either Monday, Tuesday or Thursday of last week the Grade 11s skipped classes for a day and spent it at the hospital in Duncan “partying” it up with the P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth) Program.
We first viewed a presentation by one of the hospital trauma doctors. She explained the dangers of driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol. She showed images and told case studies of patients who had survived their crash and those who had unfortunately been unsavable. She explained how a seatbelt can save your life, using a case study of a boy whose heart was punctured by his ribs when a seat belt wasn't there to prevent him smashing into the steering wheel. Her images, vivid and gruesome, really showed us the dangers that follow reckless behavior.
After the presentation, we were split into four groups. My group first went outside to a paramedic standing in front of a destroyed car. He then explained to us what he has to do as a first responder, as a member of B.C. Ambulances. He explained the first responder procedure, explaining how and why they would use a neck brace, as well as retold some stories of when he was first on the scene. He stressed the importance of knowing that when someone gets into a crash, it’s not only their lives which is affected but also the lives of everyone who they come into contact with on a daily basis: family and friends.
The next stop was to the trauma room where we met another doctor who went through a step-by-step process of what they do to ensure that your vitals are stable. Everything from a trachea to a chest tube was explained.
The third stop was to the top floor of the hospital where we were met by a police officer. He explained the myths of cheating a breathalyzer test and the procedure and consequences if you're caught drunk driving. He then let everyone in the group try on goggles that simulated what it was like to be drunk and made us all try to walk a line. There were laughs, jokes and one girl even got handcuffed to her chair. Although his presentation was humorous and incredibly fun, he did push home the serious legal consequences of impaired driving.
The last stop was a simulation of what it would be like if we had a brain injury or were disabled. First we had to fill out a form, but we had to fill it our only looking into a reflection of it, with our left hand. Some had forms that were readable while others (myself especially) looked more like squiggles of an alien language. We then had to listen to a girl who did have a brain injury and two years of speech therapy; she said ten words. We had to guess which words she was saying. The highest number of correct guesses was three. In the final activity we had our hand put into gloves that helped simulate what it was like to not have hands, or have hands that were paralyzed. We were given a tool and told to button up our shirts. It was the most frustrating experience I have ever endured and I’m sure many of my classmates would say the same. I couldn't imagine the difficulty these people experience daily, the frustration that I only experienced for five minutes.
The P.A.R.T.Y. program was entertaining, enlightening and educational. We Grade 11s left knowing more about the dangers that risk related trauma present as well as how to prevent them.
We’d probably take that test over a dangerous party now.
Caitlin C, Hope ‘17