Five members of a health occupations organization from Delta High School attended a fall leadership conference in Denver last weekend. They sat in on sessions to develop leadership skills, explored competitive events, learned about professionalism and discussed fundraising opportunities for the national HOSA charity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They also cheered on the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.
Health Occupation Students of America, or HOSA, is in its second year at DHS. It's structured much like Future Farmers of America or Future Business Leaders of America, but it's geared toward students who are interested in any type of medical career.
Julie Boyd and Robin Liston sponsored the club in its initial year. Ben Magtutu, a physics teacher at DHS, is now co-advisor with Boyd. Boyd teaches college anatomy at DHS, as well as science at the Delta Opportunity School and an online health course at Delta-Montrose Technical College.
Boyd said HOSA gives students an opportunity to explore a variety of career opportunities, from nursing to pharmacy to veterinary medicine. Along the way, they participate in leadership, public speaking and teamwork building activities. They learn skills expected by those working in the medical field, such as CPR, first aid, hygiene and the proper transfer of patients.
Medical math, terminology, spelling and cultural issues are addressed. As individuals or members of a team, they prepare for a constantly expanding series of health care-related competitive events. Competition is held in Colorado Springs in the spring.
The future health professionals also perform community service, conduct fundraisers and have time for fun and socialization during the twice-monthly meetings.
Their course load typically includes classes that will prepare them for careers in health care, such as college anatomy and college biology.
The need for competent, compassionate health care providers is expected to continue to grow, Boyd said. HOSA provides students an opportunity to learn about career opportunities they may not have considered, while moving DHS toward graduation guidelines that expect students, by the year 2021, to demonstrate postsecondary and workforce readiness.