Posted Date: 03/04/2020
A student from La Joya ISD wears a mask and gloves and leans over his patient, carefully stitching together his open wound. When she has finished, the neat row of sutures could be mistaken for the work of a professional, but this is the first time performing surgery. The young woman is, of course, operating on a human skin model while participating in the College 1stHealth Professions CAMP at JD Salinas Middle School.
The Health Professions CAMP is designed to introduce students to a wide array of medical careers through interactive, project-based learning in an industry long known to be expanding. La Joya ISD was one of the first school districts in the Valley to open an Academy of Health Science Professions as an independent High School, where students from La Joya, Peñitas, Palmview and Mission are enrolled for the four high school years with the opportunity to earn medical industry certifications and college credits. La Joya ISD became one of the few school districts in the Region to offer their students advanced preparation for their future healthcare career. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare has become the largest source of jobs in the United States. The healthcare industry has long been one of the fastest growing in the US, driven in large part by the aging of the American population. We can see this growth here in the Rio Grande Valley where the demand for healthcare professionals has been increasing considerably.
“This experience was really great I was excited to learn more about the medical field because is something I want to do when I grow up. This CAMP inspires me to become a doctor”said Melanie Reyna, JD Salinas Middle School Student.
The Health Professions CAMP exposes students to the emerging technologies that have made waves in the medical field. Economic trends toward increasing automation suggests that the best prepared professionals of tomorrow will know how to interact with technology and harness its advantages.
“I want to be success because I want to accomplish a bright future… and set the example for future generations and make my family proud” said Emiliano Sanchez, JD Salinas Middle School Student
La Joya ISD Administration knows how important hands-on experience is for their students so, not only do students use virtual reality glasses to explore the circulatory system, but also take part in similar hands-on training that medical professionals are exposed to. They use human skin models and suturing kits to perform surgery and get to experience what it’s like to be a nurse during a vitals rotation. Moreover, the students are mentored by the College 1stinstructors which some are medical students, to think of the broader effects of technology on medical professions and society by-and-large.
“I want to be successful in the future because I want to make my parents proud and find a career that I enjoy every day”Yareli Benavides, JD Salinas Middle School
As students review the human anatomy and explore different medical career options they can pursue after college, the interspersion of hands-on activities provides them with practical skills that medical professionals often aren’t exposed to until college. From removing cavities from teeth models to taking the “vitals” of their peers, students get a head start on skills they need to become the dentists, doctors, nurses, and surgeons of tomorrow.