Health Science Pathway: An In-Depth Look

Posted by: District 3 years ago

Health Science Pathway: An In-Depth Look

What started as one Sports Medicine class in 2005 has blossomed into the Health Science Pathway that gives our CHS students hands-on experience in the medical field. The pathway is geared towards students who have an interest in healthcare related fields and careers. The first-hand understanding that students receive helps them decide if this is an industry they want to continue studying while in college.

These classes and student organizations, such as HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), can also be useful to students who are interested in learning life-saving techniques (like CPR) or what to do in emergency situations. Many students find it interesting to learn about injuries and medical conditions that are relevant to their lives. 

Regardless of why a student chooses to enter the Health Science Pathway at CHS, the pathway provides experience that can help them in college and beyond. Here’s an in-depth look at the pathway and how students get involved at each level.


The pathway currently consists of three classes: Basic Life Support, Sports Medicine, and Advanced Sports Medicine.

In Basic Life Support, students acquire hands-on, emergency-type skills. They also receive a Basic Life Support certification through the American Heart Association, which is a requirement for many EMT programs at community colleges and other schools. 

In the Sports Medicine class, students can get certified in Heartsaver CPR through the American Heart Association. Another aspect of this class involves observing a healthcare professional for 10 hours each semester. Students choose a healthcare profession they may be interested in, connect with someone in the field, and then schedule times to observe them—all on their own.

When students have completed and passed the Sports Medicine class, they may opt to take Advanced Sports Medicine, which is more in-depth and gives students the chance to complete an internship at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

Sharp Internships

The Advanced Sports Medicine students intern at Sharp Coronado Hospital once a week, for a couple of hours each session from November to April. As with any other internship, they report to supervisors, are evaluated, and have specific tasks and responsibilities they must fulfill. Before they start work, they must be up to date on immunizations, certified in CPR, and complete Sharp’s orientation. 

Once they start, students rotate between different hospital departments as part of the internship. In some positions, they may interact with patients; at other times, students may get a better understanding of the administrative side of healthcare. It’s an opportunity for those who are interested in healthcare to see, first hand, what goes on in the industry and what a career in healthcare entails.

HOSA Conferences

Students in our pathway are encouraged to join the Coronado chapter of HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America). The national organization is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and offers students the chance to attend and compete at state and national conferences.

The annual conference is a four-day event filled with workshops where students can learn about medicine, diseases, the healthcare profession, and what medical and nursing schools are looking for in candidates. It’s also a time for them to connect with like-minded peers and participate in activities. 

Many of our students spend an entire year working and studying to take part in the conference’s competition, which covers topics such as nursing, forensics, and medical math. To compete, students must study on their own time and take a written exam before the conference. Once at the conference, they find out if they have qualified for the second round where they utilize their hands-on skills. For example, students competing in forensics might walk into a room with a mock crime scene and report on what they find. Sports medicine competitors may have to evaluate an injury, perform CPR, or tape an injury.

Students who rank within the top three in the state qualify to compete in their topic at the International HOSA Conference. Last year, Teresa Perez, a CHS sophomore, took first place in the Healthy Lifestyle competition!

At CUSD, it’s our mission to prepare our students for life beyond our district. Our Health Science Pathway is just one of the many ways students can get experience, knowledge, and insight to help them succeed - not only in the medical industry, but in any career they choose.