Scottsbluff High School and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) future healthcare professional members took advantage of an educational opportunity last week by attending the 45th Annual International HOSA Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.
Jennifer Hare, the SHS HOSA counselor, traveled with 11 students to the conference, which was held June 22-25. The conference took place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. It featured competitive events focusing on leadership, professional and technical skills as well as training seminars, workshops and exhibitions.
“It was an opportunity to meet people from all over the world with similar goals,” Hare said. “Additionally, the general sessions provided recognition and opportunity for all HOSA members.”
The conference brought together over 10,000 HOSA members from across the country and around the world.
Senior Madysen Powell, who is also a state officer from HOSA Nebraska, said the conference had a variety of sessions that students could choose to attend, which helped her learn more about careers in the healthcare industry.
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“We had the opportunity to attend educational symposia and many different activities through HOSA to expand our educational opportunities,” Powell said.
She participated in a “Guess Who” panel with five health professionals. After providing a brief description of their work, students used pre-response questions to determine their work before a question and answer session.
“I enjoyed this session because we got to talk about some areas of healthcare that aren’t talked about a lot, like podiatry and wound specialization, which was really interesting,” she said.
After high school, Powell wants to become an X-ray technologist, also known as radiographers, imaging patients.
The Bearcats have competed in career posting competitions in healthcare, medical math, epidemiology, behavioral health, home health aide, nursing assistant, and HOSA bowl events.
“Many of the events start with a first round and then a small number of competitors move on to the second round,” Hare said. “Scottsbluff HOSA is proud to share that Alyssa Spurgeon has moved into the second round of home assist.”
Powell participated in a written epidemiology test, after qualifying for the state leadership conference.
“It was kind of scary but also kinda cool,” Powell said. “You had to be the best of the best to be able to go and I felt honored to be able to say that I competed against the best in the world.”
Along with the opportunities offered at the conference, students explored Nashville. They toured backstage at the Grand Ole Opry and rode the General Jackson Riverboat on the Cumberland River.
“This resort was beautiful. To be able to walk around and enjoy where we were was amazing,” Powell said. “We got to go behind the scenes at the Grand Ole Opry house and it was really cool. We were very lucky.
Hare said the conference was a meaningful learning and networking opportunity for students, made possible through the support of local businesses and the community.
“Scottsbluff HOSA is so grateful to the many local businesses and community members who helped sponsor the event with donations and purchases from our cookie dough fundraiser,” she said. . “It helped cover half of the costs for the students, and the students and their families covered the rest.”
Powell was a member of HOSA throughout high school and said the organization gave him the opportunity to learn more about the healthcare industry.
“I think this conference gave students who were able to learn about areas of health care that not all chapters or states could be exposed to, because not all states have the same opportunities as everyone else” , she said. .
HOSA is a global, student-led organization recognized by the US Department of Education and the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as several federal and state agencies. Its mission is to empower future healthcare professionals to lead the global healthcare community, through education, collaboration and experience. HOSA actively promotes career opportunities in the health sector and improves the delivery of quality health care to all.