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HomeNewsP.A.R.T.Y is back

Transfixed by the scene unfolding in front of them, a group of Year 10 Barker College students watch as staff from Royal North Shore Hospital’s trauma team, in a simulated resuscitation, work on a 17-year-old “patient”. She is intoxicated, haemorrhaging, and seriously injured after her car crashed at 120km per hour.

The team try to stop her bleeding but she needs to go to surgery – there is nothing else they can do to help her. 

This patient’s journey now begins, and the students travel along with her from the emergency department to surgery to intensive care and finally recovery.

While the trauma and intensive care teams may only be demonstrating what happens at the Sydney Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre, elements of it have an intensity that draws the students into what is a real-life experience on a far too frequent basis.  

After a hiatus due to COVID-19, the popular P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program is finally back. Programs are running at RNSH and at the newly developed Simulation Education Centre at Hornsby Hospital.

The one-day program targets 15-to-25-year-olds about the consequences of risky behaviour before they are injured. It began in Canada in 1986 and is licensed to 173 sites globally. It was introduced at RNSH in 2013.

Program coordinator Tara Sole said it has a positive influence on the students. 

They arrive with no expectation of what they’re going to see and by the end of the day, we’ve had quite a significant impact on them
P.A.R.T.Y. program coordinator Tara Sole

The program includes presentations from trauma doctors, nurses, paramedics, police, a social worker, and a trauma ambassador. 

“The students really enjoy and appreciate hearing from a group of highly skilled professionals who are talking about their own personal real-life experiences,” she said. 

“It’s real life. It’s not just a story.”

One student, Zara, said she found the day interesting, but it also made her think. 

“Situations don’t just affect me — they affect everyone and not just my family and friends, but also the team working on it. So much goes on behind the scenes,” she said.

Another student, Mary, was inspired by the day. 

“I’ve loved it because I want to become a nurse when I’m older. So, I just loved watching it all and learning. I found it fascinating,” she said.

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