Left: A demonstration of a cast formed from the layers of the trunk of a coconut tree. Right: A JABSOM student removes a plaster cast.

Molokaʻi teens experienced the job of a medical professional at the Friendly Island’s first health camp, courtesy of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM).

JABSOM hosted 51 eager teens, medical students and health career volunteers in demonstrations highlighting both western and traditional Native Hawaiian medicine.

The February 17 activities were based at the Molokaʻi Education Center in Kaunakakai that is operated by UH Maui College. In seven different workshops, the teens got to feel what it might be like to work in a health-care field.

For example, they learned how to suture a simulated wound on a faux limb, which resembled the arm of a store window mannequin with padding.

In another workshop, they made, applied and removed casts to stabilize broken bones. There were two types of casts: one of traditional plaster used in western medicine, and another using a stiff layer from the trunk of a coconut tree, the way of ancient Native Hawaiian healers.

The teens were paired with volunteer medical students from JABSOM to practice taking vital signs (recording temperature, weight, heartbeat, pulse and blood pressure) and to discuss nutrition and how infectious diseases spread.

See the full story at the JABSOM website.