SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of San Diego students are getting a first-hand look at the world of medicine.
Aeris is an 8th grader at Hidden Valley Middle School and joined hundreds of other Escondido Union students for Palomar Health’s Middle School Medical Discoveries Program.
It’s a day of fun of hands-on instruction with the intention to promote health education and inspire career explorations in the health community. Through Nov., 1,800 middle school students in total will be participating.
"Its helps a young mindset in case they like it here and if they think 'oh it's fun,' they can do it when they grow up also," said Aeris.
Students are learning valuable and lifesaving medical skills in several workshops related to trauma care. Lessons include how to apply a tourniquet, casting techniques, CPR, and how to safely transport a patient.
"I think it plants an awesome seed in their mind and it's something they can cherish for quite some time and take away amazing skills that they will use lifelong. To see a child, especially a 13-14 year old, to see their path is rewarding," said Ali Parviz, Assistant Principal at Hidden Valley Middle School.
It’s also helpful for frontline workers.
"This has been equally beneficial for our caregivers. It's been really tough for our front line workers for the past couple of years. So, what you will see with our volunteers here is they hope to reconnect for that same passion that got them in the medical field. It’s a win-win," said Kristin Gaspar, President and CEO of Palomar Health Foundation.
It's a win-win for Aeris too. She said her goal is to be 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 which aims to provide support for under represented students and inspire a new generation of healthcare workers.
WATCH RELATED: Students at UC San Diego making sustainable shoes from algae (Oct. 2022).