HOSA brings their best to state competitions


Imagine – you’re in a room when someone has a medical emergency. They may need to be relieved from choking or even need CPR. Would you know what to do to help them?

For some students, feeling that a career in medicine is their calling is why they’re a HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) member and competitor.

“I feel like I’m meant to save a life,” senior and HOSA member Danielle Poth said.

Students in HOSA not only prove to themselves that they’d know what to do in a health emergency, but they prove it to judges at competitions as well. In April, top performers from the regional competition advanced to the HOSA state competition to show off just how much they knew about medicine, emergency responding, health, and more.

The competition, which took place the final weekend in April in Traverse City, is no walk in the park for many competitors.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but we got first place overall [at the regional competition] which [was] really exciting,” Poth recalled.

“It’s nerve-wracking,” senior Fabiola Xhamxhi echoed, “mostly because we have competition with schools that have the same nursing class as us.”

With the state competition comes the opportunity to travel to the national competition, taking place in June at the Walt Disney World Resort.

“I’m hoping to [be one of] the top three [competitors] so I can make it Nationals,” senior Gabrielle Jaques said.

HOSA doesn’t just benefit those whose lives could be saved by the knowledge and skills of a student. The organization can help its members get a leg up in the medical field.

“I want to go into the medical field,” Xhamxhi said. “[HOSA] gives me the opportunity to see my options [in the field].”

“I want to pursue a career in something medical,” Poth said. “I’m a lifeguard outside of school, so it’s obviously helpful to know CPR and first aid.”

At the state competition, stakes are slightly higher for students. At the regional competition, they had to compete in a written knowledge test and an applied skills test, but the state competition only allows top performers in the written test to take the skills test.

“I’m just hoping to make top 20 and go to the skills test,” Poth said of her goals for the state competition.

“We hope we’re getting the message of our lesson plan to the judges,” Xhamxhi said of her ultimate competition goal.

Whether they emerge state champions or not, Utica’s HOSA chapter can take pride in knowing that they now have the knowledge to be successful in medicine, and to maybe just save a life.