The P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-related Trauma in Youth) Program is an international injury prevention program aimed at senior school students (ages 15-19). Unlike other injury prevention programs, students enter the hospital setting where they come face to face with the potential consequences of risky decision making.
This multidisciplinary program is presented by doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health personnel, all with experience in treating trauma patients. By interacting with the hospital environment, students learn about the impact of making poor decisions and how drugs and alcohol can affect decision making capabilities. Students follow the journey of a trauma patient from the emergency department to the allied health areas of the hospital where they learn what it can be like to live with a debilitating injury. Students also get the opportunity to meet a trauma survivor. Through this exposure, the program aims to change perceptions about making risky decisions, thus enabling more informed decision making. This, in certain social situations, may be decisions that could ultimately save lives.
In Australia, trauma is the leading cause of death for those under the age of 24 (Kwok et al., PLoS ONE 7:2(2012)]. Of those who do not die, many end up in hospital for prolonged stays with severe, life changing injuries. Current research by Banfield, et al. [The Journal of TRAUMA Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 70:3, (2011)] suggests that the PARTY program is associated with a 4.9% and 3.8% decrease in the rates of trauma among females and males respectively in the 15-19 year age bracket.
The P.A.R.T.Y. Program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital was established at the end of 2014 and has been running successfully since. Fully booked for 2016, the P.A.R.T.Y. Program Coordinators are looking for opportunities to expand, so this valuable message can be spread to youth from all corners of the state.
About the Speaker
(BN, Grad Dip Emerg Sci, P.A.R.T.Y. Program Co-ordinator, Royal Adelaide Hospital)
Clinical Practice Consultant and P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program Coordinator – Emergency Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital. www.partyprogramsa.org.au
Lani has been an Emergency nurse at various hospitals around the country for the past 10 years, working both in metro and remote settings. During her time at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, she witnessed the establishment of the P.A.R.T.Y. Program and recognised its potential to change lives. On her return to the SA, Lani strived to implement the P.A.R.T.Y. Program at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and successfully ran the first program in October 2014.
As an Emergency nurse Lani regularly sees the devastation that trauma causes and uses this as motivation to drive the program at the RAH. Since recently returning from maternity leave, Lani has stepped back into the Program Co-ordinators role with new energy and vigour and is very excited about the programs achievements and direction in the last year. She is looking forward to expanding the program and continuing to deliver its key messages in the future.