Taking the lead in health

Millard West’s HOSA competes at Districts


photo courtesy of Jeanna Meyer

For her last competition, senior Eva Gould competed in the dental science category. “In under 30 minutes I had to disinfect an entire dental clinic,” Gould said. “I used different tools, chemicals, and bi products to make sure that I did the job correctly. I had only a few minutes left on the clock before I finished my work and presented it to the judges.”

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

Students involved in Millard West’s HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) competed at the University of Nebraska Omaha for HOSA’s State Leadership Conference on March 15 and16.

HOSA is a student-led organization that empowers future health professionals to become leaders in the global health industry. During HOSA’s competitive events, students can strengthen their knowledge and gain hands-on experience in their desired health sector. 

“Before going into the competition we go through a pain-staking amount of preparation,” HOSA sponsor Jeanne Meyer said. “Throughout the year we’ve had various speakers help prepare our students for their specific categories, and we’ve also taken field trips to medical centers so that our students have the ability to have practice for our competitions.”

Although this group of students received training throughout the entirety of the year, it ended up winding down weeks before the competition started. 

“The week before our competition, I put in an extensive amount of effort to make sure that I was walking into the competition with my A-game,” freshman Ainsley Van Duraan said. “I studied med books and specifically sports med books to prepare for my event, Sports Medicine and Behavioral Health. I also acted out roleplays and participated in HOSA’s online training.”

During the competition, students were able to choose from numerous categories to compete in, ranging from dental science and clinical nursing to physical therapy and sports medicine. To combat each category, Millard West’s HOSA was split up into nine different pairs.  For each interactive roleplay, students were given 30 minutes to come up with a presentation that related to their task. Once the 30  minutes were up, they presented their plan to a judge. 

“During the competition, I competed in forensics and behavioral health,”  sophomore Sydney Hendricksen said. “I choose this category because I have taken psychology classes before and they always have interested me, so I figured this would be the perfect time to expand upon my skills and knowledge of this category.”

During the competition, Hendricksen and her partner were presented with a mock crime scene and dialogue. In the swift time of 30 minutes, the duo had to work together to find the cause of death and manner of death. Luckily, they were able to create an innovative idea, which led them to win a second-place award.

While some students are just beginning to explore the variety of opportunities that HOSA has to offer, others are expanding their knowledge on topics that had previously been beyond their reach. 

“Since it’s my last time competing with HOSA, I wanted to try something new,” senior Eva Gould said. “I decided to compete in the dental science category because I thought it would push the boundaries of my knowledge and expand my comfort zone. I’m glad I made this decision because I left the competition with a first-place achievement.”

When all was said and done, this group of students left this competition with their heads high and hope to continue their streak at their National competition in June.  Over 40 students from Millard West competed at State and qualified for Nationals. Until their next competition, these students continue to improve upon their techniques, with the hope to evolve their knowledge of health and science.