Teens get lessons from doctors at Naval Hospital Jacksonville

13 Darnell-Cookman School of Medical Arts students get hands-on medical training

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – School's out for the summer, but some Jacksonville high school students are still taking classes this week at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. 

Students from Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts are taking lessons from doctors and nurses at Naval Hospital Jacksonville as part of the annual Science, Service, Medicine and Mentoring (S2M2) program. 

On Wednesday, the teens suited up and sanitized for hands-on training, learning how to stitch up different types of wounds. They used the same instruments and sutures that doctors use in the operating room.

"This is not something you forget," said Al'asia Jenkins, a senior at Darnell-Cookman School of the Medical Arts.

For a week, 13 students, including Jenkins, are taking part in clinical rotations, which include operating rooms, physical therapy and simulation labs.

Capt. Matthew Case, commanding officer of Naval Hospital Jacksonville, said he's been surprised by the students' knowledge.

"To hear their aspirations and to hear how incredibly intelligent and articulate they were in their responses was amazing," Case said.

Jenkins aspires to be a veterinarian. She said she's already learned so much that will help her move closer to her career goal.

"I have to learn how to do sutures, how to scrub up, be clean," she said. "Still learning how to work with people."

Since it was created, about 80 students have completed the summer internship program, learning about the medical profession in an engaging environment.