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HOSA Hard at Work

President+Nyha+Dixon+and+Vice+President+Alexis+Bynum+pose+for+the+camera+during+a+Wednesday+meeting.+
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HOSA Hard at Work

President Nyha Dixon and Vice President Alexis Bynum pose for the camera during a Wednesday meeting.

President Nyha Dixon and Vice President Alexis Bynum pose for the camera during a Wednesday meeting.

Photo Provided By Nyha Dixon

President Nyha Dixon and Vice President Alexis Bynum pose for the camera during a Wednesday meeting.

Photo Provided By Nyha Dixon

Photo Provided By Nyha Dixon

President Nyha Dixon and Vice President Alexis Bynum pose for the camera during a Wednesday meeting.

Sarah Parker, Reporter

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Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) is a high school organization for students who plan on pursuing a career in the medical field. This year, medical professions teacher, Patti Castle, and anatomy teacher, Whitney Taylor are the sponsors.

HOSA and the medical program went through a period of transition after the unexpected loss of beloved teacher, Jana Blackford, in the spring of 2017. Losing Blackford left a hole in both the hearts of students and the program. Castle took the position, coming over from her role as junior high English teacher and has been working hard to carry on Blackford’s legacy.  

“I think I have done everything that I can to try and make her [Blackford] proud. Everything I am doing for these kids, in the back of my mind, I am trying to rebuild the program to what I think she would have wanted for them,” Castle said. “I am adding my own twist on some things, so it is kind of half and half. I have used a lot of what she was using as well as some stuff I have added.”

HOSA uses their weekly Wednesday meetings to prepare for the yearly state conference. There are over 50 different events for HOSA members to compete in, which helps guide students who are unsure about what part of the medical field they want to pursue. Events range from impromptu writing over a medical topic, to basic home health, dentistry and veterinary skills application.  

“It [competition] starts from a basic level and if they pass that then they move on. There is a presentation event that several of our kids are going to do. The first stage of that event, they have to do a big presentation and you do not even get to speak to the judges. They will walk around and judge you strictly on your presentations look,” Castle explained. “After that, if you make it to the second round, you get to make a verbal presentation.”

In addition to preparing for the state competition, HOSA is also active in the community. Students recently sold cookie dough to raise funds. They used half of the $2500 to purchase cards and blankets for patients at Willowbend Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. On Dec. 12, members were able to interact with the patients as they delivered the gifts. The other half of the money raised will support other events for HOSA throughout the year.

Along with this, HOSA members are working on making homemade cards for the children at St. Jude Research Hospital. They will deliver the cards and gifts for the children sometime this month.

Senior and HOSA vice president Alexis Bynum says she is extremely thankful for HOSA and Blackford for guiding her into her new found passion: helping people.

“HOSA showed me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It introduced me to a field that would always have jobs available, whether that be helping someone, or simply saving their life,” Bynum expressed. “HOSA also introduced me to a woman I will never forget, Mrs. Blackford. She had the biggest impact on me deciding what interested me most.”

Bynum encourages anyone interested in having in the medical field to join the club.

“The things we do in HOSA are to broaden those who are interested in medical of all the things they can do, It can even show you if the medical field is really the right thing for you,” Bynum explained.

Castle feels that HOSA, if taken advantage of, provides great opportunities for students interested in the medical field.  There are so many possible job opportunities and job contacts for HOSA members that medical students do not encounter until well into college. Along with all of this, HOSA members also are able to acquire community service hours. If one is truly interested in pursuing the medical career, sign up for HOSA during next year’s club drive.

Those who would like to support HOSA, should sign up for the annual blood drive on Jan. 24. Registration for the drive can be found at, www.clublifeblood.us. If a donor is under the age of 18, their parents must fill out a permission slip. Time slots are available for the whole school day. For a full list of rules and regulations click on the following link:

https://www.mskcc.org/about/get-involved/donating-blood/general-blood-platelet-donor-guidelines  

Currently, members are selling cups to help raise funds for future HOSA related activities. The cups come in a variety of different patterns  and they are $20, except the Marion Patriots cup, which is $25. The cups also come with a lifetime warranty. Anyone interested in purchasing a cup should contact a HOSA member for more details. Money for the cups is due Jan. 30.

These tumblers include a lifetime warranty.

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