Conant students open door to healthcare industry

Conant seniors Monika Byanna, Kishan Patel, Isha Shah, and Riana Shah have started HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), a medical competition aimed at taking an early initiative in the healthcare profession.

The organization builds upon a student’s desire to become more familiar with their intended area of medical profession and gain in-depth knowledge of a specific sub-field.

Science teacher Erik Hauser, one of the advisors for Conant HOSA, said that the four senior students were the driving force in taking an initiative to start this club at Conant.

Hauser teaches biology and medical terminology and was an EMT earlier in his career. Sharon L. McCoy, the science department chair, is another advisor for Conant’s HOSA.

Upon hearing of HOSA’s success at Bartlett High School, Patel explained, “We wanted to start HOSA at Conant because those who will participate will gain an experience of a lifetime and be given the opportunity to network with leading health professionals in Illinois.”

HOSA competitions are held at the state, regional, and national levels. Regionals are held at Conant, where members of HOSA take an online test that determines their eligibility to go to state.

At state, each member competes with other students from all over Illinois over a three-day period. Different events are scheduled on different days. There are six categories of events: Health Science, Health Profession, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, Teamwork, and Recognition.

“It is actually just like BPA,” said Riana. BPA encourages students to take an initiative in the business profession. Similarly, HOSA allows students get a head start in the medical profession.

Also, like BPA, practices aren’t often. But, as any other commitment, it requires independent study and discipline. Patel said, “People should join this club if they are certain they want to pursue the health field.  It will provide them with hands-on experience within their desired sub-field and consolidate their desire of whether or not the health field is for them.  The club is open to everyone. We encourage students with a desire to learn more about their field and gain experience to join.”

Originally started in the late 1970’s, HOSA promoted quality healthcare and gave high school students the opportunity to observe careers in the medical field. “At the time, there were no competitions, just activities,” Isha said. “However, as more states got involved, the idea of competition became more appealing.”

For the next two weeks, HOSA is open for enrollment for any students who would like to join. If you want to learn more about HOSA visit the HOSA website.

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