As we all know, the teen years can be difficult ones. By offering a spectrum of classes just for adolescents, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System in Greenville, South Carolina is doing what it can to help teens make the transition to responsible young adults.
Safe Sitter® is a perfect complement to the hospital’s Mother-Daughter Teas and classes on healthy teen relationships and fitness, said Assistant Site Coordinator and Instructor Heather Peters. “We believe our site is a successful site because we have fun teaching Safe Sitter®,” Peters said. “And we believe it fits right into the curriculum we offer our adolescent population.”
Because Safe Sitter® is situated in the middle of St. Francis’ adolescent class offerings, it gives Instructors a chance to develop a trust and friendship with young teens and their parents before they even take a Safe Sitter® class. “Our Instructors are already on staff teaching our other adolescent classes. We utilize the same Instructors for Safe Sitter® so the kids have familiar faces if they’ve been through our other classes,” Peters said.
Local teens have ample opportunity to take part in a Safe Sitter® class. A site since May 2004, St. Francis teaches the 2-day class at least five times a year. The hospital’s other classes help drive more kids to take Safe Sitter®, said Peters. “With our adolescent curriculum already in place, we can extend the Safe Sitter® class to this population but we also advertise to our community through local publications and churches,” she said.
“We feel by teaching Safe Sitter® we are giving our community an amazing resource to prepare their children how to truly be a “safe” sitter and for real life situations,” Peters added.
But, as many Instructors find out, teaching Safe Sitter® not only benefits the students. Peters said she appreciates how teaching the program prepares Instructors to think about issues with their own children. “It benefits us both in our everyday job as well as knowing this age group on a different level,” said Peters.
Peters agrees that parents express amazement at the amount of information their teens learn by taking Safe Sitter®, especially in the areas of behavior management and first aid skills. “When we see a child we have taught out in the community, their parents always seem to share how much their child learned from Safe Sitter® and they love watching them practice their CPR,” Peters said.