Palomar Health Inspires Grade 8 Students in Escondido

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It’s a fun day of hands-on teaching with the intention of promoting health education and inspiring career explorations in the health community.

SAN DIEGO – Hundreds of San Diego students are experiencing the world of medicine firsthand.

Aeris is an 8th grader at Hidden Valley Middle School and joins hundreds of other Union Escondido students to Palomar Health College Medical Discovery Program.

It’s a fun day of hands-on teaching with the intention of promoting health education and inspiring career explorations in the health community. Until November, a total of 1,800 middle school students will take part.

“It helps a young mindset in case they like it here and if they think ‘oh that’s fun,’ they can do it when they grow up too,” Aeris said.

Students learn valuable and life-saving medical skills in several workshops related to trauma care. Lessons include how to apply a tourniquet, casting techniques, CPR and how to transport a patient safely.

“I think it plants an awesome seed in their minds and it’s something they can cherish for a while and take away amazing skills that they’ll use for a lifetime. Seeing a child, especially a 13 year old at 14, seeing your path is rewarding,” said Ali Parviz, vice-principal at Hidden Valley Middle School.

It is also useful for frontline workers.

“It’s been just as beneficial for our caregivers. It’s been very difficult for our frontline workers over the past couple of years. So what you’ll see with our volunteers here is that they’re hoping to reconnect with that same passion that brought them into the medical field. It’s a win-win,” said Kristin Gaspar, president and CEO of the Palomar Health Foundation.

It’s also a win-win for Aeris. She said her goal is to become a heart surgeon in the future.

“I want to help other people and help save lives,” Aeris said.

The program is supported by a grant that aims to support underrepresented students and inspire a new generation of healthcare workers.

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