HOSA sends 20 students to State competition

Lauren Girgis, A&E Editor

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) had 20 students qualify to attend the Texas HOSA State Leadership Conference in Corpus Christi on March 31.
“All of us hope to pursue science and healthcare, so the information that we learn now for this competition will be helpful to us in the future,” senior Eena Lin said.
Qualifiers are seniors Lin, Ted Wu, and Daniel Wang, who are competing in the HOSA Bowl teamwork competition. In Public Health are seniors Amal Syed, Aniqa Islam, Victor Chien, Atharva Railkar, Adit Railkar, and Mercedes Valetti.
Students who are competing in Medical Reserve Corps include junior Briana Cervantes, junior Jason Duong, senior Remy Kirk, senior Claire Juhas, senior Tyler Andrews, and senior Ian Chang.
Individual competitors are junior Triston Zhang in Prepared Speaking, senior Anushah Mirza in Extemporaneous Writing, and senior Ali Purtell in Chapter Reflections. Juniors Tabitha Bishop and Sean Kemp also advanced in the Forensic Medicine competition and received first place.
“Students who compete at any level are exposed not only to competition, but also networking with adults who can guide them in the direction of their career aspirations,” HOSA sponsor Kimberly Miller said. “Also, they are given the opportunity to use real world skills during their competition.”
HOSA aims to develop future leaders for the health care system and provides opportunities for students to network with healthcare professionals, access student scholarship opportunities, and set goals for realistic career choices.
“Going to state is a great benefit to us,” Lin said. “The lessons that we have learned in regards to teamwork, health science, and quick thinking will carry with us into our future endeavors.”
Since Bishop will not be able to attend the Forensic Medicine competition with Kemp, senior Ali Purtell is subbing in for her.
“My competition in forensic medicine includes a written test and a simulated crime scene. We will analyze the scene and determine cause of death and time of death by relating numerous factors of the crime scene and police report that we were given,” Kemp said. “I am most excited for the crime scene aspect of the competition.”
At the competition, students get the chance to meet with other students aspiring to work in the medical field.
“I hope students make new connections with students from across the state, and that they will learn the skill of performing in front of judges as well as good sportsmanship,” Miller said.
According to Lin, the preparation reaps just as many benefits as the competition itself.
“I am lucky to work with such amazing team members, and I hope that we can come out of this experience with wonderful memories to last a lifetime,” Lin said.
Students spend time preparing for the competition individually or in their teams outside of class, making study guides and practicing the different scenarios and situations that will be presented to them.
“I have taken Medical Terminology, Principles of Health Science, and Clinical Rotations,” Kemp said. “I am not sure if I would like to pursue a career in medicine, but if I want to I will have the skills necessary.”
Students have had workshops to demonstrate what they are competing and get constructive feedback on what they need to do to prepare. There has also been some class time spent preparing for the competitions. Overall, the goal is to place at state and advance to international competition.
“We take students to state every year. Only one year in the 10 that I have been with PISD have we not taken students to internationals,” Miller said. “I hope that all of our competitors will advance, where they will be able to compete at Disney World.”