Students faced with dummy run on consequences of a serious accident

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS: Students Sam McKinley, Lachlan Lingley, Tahlia Brown, Paige Wallace, Jess Beasley and Jess Bishenden watch Orange hospital trauma clinical nurse consultant Vicky Conyers use the scenario of a young student with life threatening spinal injuries as part of an education program to help young people avoid risk taking behaviour. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0808hospital21

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS: Students Sam McKinley, Lachlan Lingley, Tahlia Brown, Paige Wallace, Jess Beasley and Jess Bishenden watch Orange hospital trauma clinical nurse consultant Vicky Conyers use the scenario of a young student with life threatening spinal injuries as part of an education program to help young people avoid risk taking behaviour. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0808hospital21

IT was a confronting experience but a valuable life lesson for students from James Sheahan,  Blayney and Orange high schools when they saw firsthand what it’s like to be critically injured in an accident .

On Friday trauma staff at Orange hospital enhanced the realistic experience for students by giving the names of students to dummies used in the exercises and taking the students into the room where their parents would be told they had died or been seriously injured as a result of trauma injuries due to risky behaviour.

The education program was brought to Orange hospital by a team from Royal North Shore that worked closely with Orange clinicians.

In one of the trauma bays at the hospital trauma clinical nurse consultant Vicki Conyers and other staff used the scenario that one of the students had come off their quad bike without a helmet and had sustained critical spinal injuries that would leave him a paraplegic.

In a graphic demonstration staff showed how they treated critically ill patients.

“It was too much for some of the students in the session the day before and we had seven of them faint,” said Ms Conyers.

However she said the innovative program is designed to save lives of young people.

“We needed to create a realistic scenario to show these young people what happens when they take risks - this is real life.

“The last thing any of us here at the hospital wants is to see those beautiful young people brought in with trauma injuries,” she said.

James Sheahan Catholic High School assistant principal Peter Meers said they eagerly accepted the opportunity for students to take part.

“This program Royal North Shore has brought to Orange gives another dimension to the risky behaviour topic and takes it another level up from a classroom discussion, so we saw it as a wonderful opportunity,” Mr Meers said.

The year 9,10 and 11 students were then taken into the intensive care department and given another demonstration.

The injury scenario in this case was a young man affected by alcohol, tries to jump into a pool from a fence and misses, landing on the concrete.

Staff showed how a quadriplegic totally relies on staff for every aspect to function encouraging them to touch and experiment with pieces of equipment that could be their lifeline to survival.

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