HOSA

HOSA club member junior Shania Youssef and senior Bella Godfrey practice taking a pulse and taking blood pressure. Club advisor Doug Long supervises 

A new Health Occupations Students of America club has just started up for students. The club is geared towards young adults looking to go into a career in the medical field.

In this club, they will learn leadership skills, as well as strengthen their academic skills. With a charter obtained by Stillwater Area High School junior Shania Youssef, health science teacher Doug Long will be the advisor for the new club.

HOSA is an international organization with clubs at both the high school and college level. Youssef took it upon herself to get a charter for the school to get its own club.

“I contacted the state HOSA association to let them know that I wanted to make a chapter. So I (sent a direct message to*) them on Instagram, and one of the state officers and I met up via Zoom and created a plan,” Youssef explained. “First to check with an advisor and make the club official with administration. From there, I recruited friends and asked around and spread the word about the club.”

This is the first club revolving around healthcare. The goal of the club is to expose students to opportunities and ideas about the future. HOSA is also a 100% student led program, therefore the club makes decisions based on what its members are most interested in. Youssef found out about the club through a summer pathway to college program.

“I knew that I wanted to start something at my school and contribute in that way, but more importantly I wanted to kind of take into consideration my interest, which was healthcare,” Youssef said. “This was my way of making a lasting impact.”

Long is a long time CIS Anatomy and HAMT teacher. He enjoys watching his students learn and apply things they see and learn in class into real life situations.

Long’s favorite thing about teaching health science is “being able to provide opportunities that get kids excited about stuff and being able to see that there’s something that they’re learning in class that can be applicable to things that they might run into down the road.”

The class is not about forced learning, “they’re learning it because they see there’s value in it. It is going to help them and they can apply it to their college studies at some point.”

Long is looking forward to being the new HOSA advisor. He has wanted to start a club for quite some time, but never got around to it.

Until Youssef, whom he had never met, sent him an email asking if he would be the club’s advisor.

Long was very excited about the club. All the heavy lifting had been done so he was ready to “get the ball rolling.” Long realized that he didn’t have to do as much of the work as he thought he needed to, because Youssef took care of it.

The idea of HOSA club sparked the attention of senior Margaret Swenson, one of Long’s CIS Anatomy students. Many of the students interested in joining the club want to go into healthcare, just like Swenson.

“I thought it was really interesting to me how it’s both a high school organization and a college organization. So part of the interest for me would be going into it not only to learn about healthcare careers because I’m not exactly sure what I want to do, but also that it’s something that I could continue moving forward into college,” Swenson said.

HOSA is for anyone and everyone to join. It is geared toward healthcare, and is a new opportunity for students to learn new things. For some students, things they may not have put much thought into in the past.

“I think it’s important to help guide students into the career they want to chase, and even if students look into HOSA, not knowing if they want to do healthcare or not,” Swenson said. “I think it’s a really good way to be exposed to the field and it can give you a good grasp on if that’s something you want to pursue.”

“My hope is that HOSA will provide opportunities for them to engage in authentic things that will help in their planning for a healthcare career. I’m hoping that it puts them in contact with resources that are people that have had experience in the field, whomever that can guide them in their journey,” Long explained. “What I’m looking forward to is just to see what kind of activities that they come up with, what is their plan, what do they want to do, what do they want to involve, and where can they go with this. I am excited to hear about what their plan is and I’m excited to be in a position where I can help them find resources so that they can make this the best experience for everybody in the group.”

*Parenthetical text added was a significant clarifying edit made by The Gazette

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