High School Students Learn Trauma Response, Pharmacists’ Skills and Chest-Compression-Only CPR

Wednesday, July 3, 2019
  • Trauma Simulation Provides Real-World Experience in Life-and-Death Situations


LOCATION:   Tubac Fire District Station 3
333 Camino Josephina, Rio Rico, AZ 85648

  • Making Hand Sanitizer Gel to Learn Pharmacist Compounding Skills

DATE/TIME:    MONDAY, JULY 8, 9-10 A.M. and 10:30-11:30 A.M. (two groups)

LOCATION:   UA College of Pharmacy, Drachman Hall, Room B209
1295 N. Martin Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724

  • Learning Chest-Compression-Only CPR ‘Pumps up’ Survival in Cardiac Arrest


LOCATION:   UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Room 2117

TUCSON, Ariz. – Fifty high school students from 22 Arizona communities are spending their summer in Tucson exploring health professions opportunities, the first step on the path to their future careers.

The students — from Chinle, Douglas, Flagstaff, Fort Apache, Gilbert, Glendale, Green Valley, Laveen, Maricopa, Nogales, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Rio Rico, San Luis, Second Mesa, Somerton, Tuba City, Tucson, Whiteriver, Willcox, Winslow and Yuma — are participating in the six-week Med-Start academic-enrichment summer program at the University of Arizona.

Med-Start incorporates college-level coursework, lectures, tours and a variety of hands-on experiences, including:

  • Trauma Simulation Provides Real-World Experience in Life-and-Death Situations

Med-Start participants will learn how to handle a trauma situation on Saturday, July 6, 9 a.m.-noon, at the Tubac Fire District Station 3, 333 Camino Josephina, Rio Rico, Ariz.

Tubac firefighter Carmen Hernandez, a 1998 Med-Start alumna, has been working with Med-Start participants for more than 13 years. She and paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) from the Tubac Fire District and Rio Rico Medical and Fire, and the Southeast Arizona Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) will guide the students during a trauma simulation.

In addition, the Life Net 6 helicopter, based at Station 3, will be there, giving students an opportunity to talk with the Life Net 6 Air Medical transport crew and inspect the helicopter.

Med-Start participants will don firefighters’ personal protective equipment (turnout gear) and use fire extinguishers and water hoses; employ a “jaws of life” hydraulic rescue tool to remove a “victim” from a wrecked car; and practice attaching a neck brace, securing a patient to a spine board and loading a patient into and out of an ambulance.

The students will have an opportunity to use an airway mannequin to practice intubation (advanced airway management) and will use skills learned in Med-Start, including taking blood pressure, checking vital signs and performing basic first aid.

  • Making Hand Sanitizer Gel to Learn Pharmacist Compounding Skills

As part of their introduction to careers in the pharmacy sciences, the Med-Start participants will learn about pharmacists’ compounding skills by making generic hand sanitizer from scratch. The students will train in two groups on Monday, July 8, 9-10 a.m., and 10:30-11:30 a.m., at the UA College of Pharmacy, Drachman Hall, Room B209, 1295 N. Martin Ave., Tucson.

Instructor David Lee, BSPharm, a 1974 Med-Start alumnus and clinical assistant professor with the UA College of Pharmacy, will teach participants how to measure and combine isopropyl alcohol, carbomer and other ingredients to make a hand-sanitizing gel.

After packaging and labeling the product, students will leave the dispensing lab with the results of their work and a new appreciation of the wide variety of roles a pharmacist fills in the health-care system.

Med-Start inspired Lee to attend the UA College of Pharmacy, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1977. He works for his alma mater in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science.

  • Learning Chest-Compression-Only CPR ‘Pumps up’ Survival in Cardiac Arrest

Recognizing the signs of cardiac arrest and knowing what to do are important for everyone to know. Med-Start participants will learn both — as well as when and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) — during chest-compression-only CPR training on Monday, July 8, 2-4 p.m., at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Room 2117, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

Erika Yee, health education assistant with the UA Sarver Heart Center, will provide information and lead Med-Start participants in hands-on practice on CPR manikins. In addition to performing chest-compression-only CPR, Med-Start participants will use AEDs — located in most public buildings — that automatically analyze the heart rhythm in victims of cardiac arrest and deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heart beat.

Studies conducted by the UA Sarver Heart Center have shown that bystanders who do chest compressions only, without mouth-to-mouth breathing, increase a person’s odds of surviving cardiac arrest.

About Med-Start
This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Med-Start, created in 1969 to increase the number of health-care professionals in Arizona's rural and economically disadvantaged areas and reservations, through the recruitment and training of students from these regions.

Offered by the UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Arizona Area Health Education Centers, the six-week academic-enrichment program for high school juniors helps young people prepare for their future in the health professions by exploring career opportunities and providing college-level coursework in English and science.

For more information about Med-Start, please visit

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