Students at Prestige Academy Charter School in Wilmington toured Christiana Hospital in May as part of their involvement in the Prestige Medical School Club.
Vinay Maheshwari, M.D., director of medical critical care at Christiana Care, started the extracurricular club as a way to educate students at Prestige Academy, which is a college preparatory charter school for middle school-aged boys in inner-city Wilmington.
Each month, Dr. Maheshwari met with about 15 students at the school to discuss medical topics.
“For me, the inspiration to create this program was my hope that I could spark some interest in a young man to pursue further education and possibly a career in science and health care,” Dr. Maheshwari said. “Providing inspiration to our young men is one way we will improve our community as a whole. The program also has greatly benefited me in my work as a doctor, since the students ask some very insightful questions. Those questions have compelled me to speak in a way that they understand and subsequently have enabled me to explain health-related issues more clearly to the patients I care for each day at Christiana Care.”
Prestige 5th grade teacher Bethelehem Yirga said the club has helped students realize there are a wide variety of health care careers that students can explore and pursue outside of the widely-known occupations of physician and nurse.
“Dr. Maheshwari has helped the students expand their horizons,” Yirga said. “He’s also created a great forum for health care concerns they have, whether it is a relative of theirs who has diabetes or a sports injury that they have sustained. Through the club, Dr. Maheshwari helped alleviate their personal stresses and concerns involving health, and his down-to-earth and hands-on approach has helped them to grasp an understanding of the complex topic of health care.”
The field trip to Christiana Hospital included a tour of the Emergency Department, helipad, heart-failure unit and the Virtual Education and Simulation Training Center. At the simulation center, the students learned how to glove and gown before entering an operating room and performed vitals tests on robotic mannequins. A news crew from 6ABC was on hand to capture the tour.
“I liked that I learned how to shock a patient’s heart to start it and how to do CPR,” said Neki Gibbs, an 8th grader at Prestige. “I liked that this club is fun and educational.”