On Thursday March 21st Cranbourne Secondary was fortunate enough to allow 20 Year 11 VCE / VCAL student attend the P.A.R.T.Y (Preventing Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth) program at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

This program takes students around the working wards of a major trauma hospital and allows students to see the effects of trauma and consequences of Alcohol and risk related behaviours.

Students get the opportunity to speak with real life patients about what it is like to be in hospital and how their choices have impacted on their lives. They also followed the path of a trauma patient through the hospital looking at their management in acute environments such as the trauma ward, emergency department and intensive care units and then focus on the long term impact and disability injuries can cause. Students also get a chance to speak with the staff who care for trauma patients while they are hospitalised encourage them to make smart choices and think twice about taking risks to prevent harm to themselves and others.

For our students, the morning started with interactive presentation from Ambulance Victoria and the Head of the Emergency Dept. We were then split into smaller groups of 10 students and shown around the emergency dept and explained the process when an ambulance arrives at the hospital with a major trauma. Our students were able to visit a young man in ICU who had been in a coma since admission into ICU 2 weeks ago. His family spoke to them about how it felt not knowing if he will recover and/or if he will have any lifelong disability.  Students were also able to speak to a gentleman who was ready to be discharged after 2 weeks in the trauma ward following his motor bike accident and how the accident, ongoing pain, discomfort had impacted on him.

After lunch the students then rotated through physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy departments seeing and trying some of the equipment young people may use to assist in their rehabilitation should they experience a major trauma – using crutches and splints, attempting to transfer from chairs to baths to attend to own hygiene and being fed thickened fluid as they may have difficulty swallowing and eating.

The last session of the day was a guest speaker who had an acquired brain injury  following a drunken night out which resulted in his head hitting a vending machine and subsequent 9 week ICU stay, many months of hospitalisations and countless operations. 


Now after 10 years of rehabilitation he is finally at a point that he can live independently. This young man’s account of how his life had changed considerably because of a poor choice left a big impact on our students. The reoccurring message of the day for the students was choices and the consequences of our choices.

This is a fantastic program that has a powerful message but also highlights to the students the multitude of other careers in the medical field as well as the commonly known medicine & nursing.



Gina Harrex

Secondary School Nurse