HOSA Student-Run Medical Program Experiences Rapid Growth at FFCHS
In a brief span of two years, HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), a student-run medical program at Fountain-Fort Carson High School (FFCHS) has experienced significant growth. The program started in 2021 with just seven students and has since grown to 84 aspiring healthcare professionals.
The HOSA organization helps prepare students who are interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. Senior Montanna Price joined HOSA to explore becoming an EMT.
“It runs in my family. My dad is a firefighter, my uncle’s a firefighter, my cousin was one,” said Price. “[HOSA] gives me a way to focus on what I want to do when I'm out of high school. But I can start learning about it now and getting a feel for it now to make sure it’s what I want to do.”
One helpful learning experience for students is the medical-themed competitions.
“I did an EMT medical competition. To prepare for it I had to practice EMT skills and learn all the anatomy of the body and what EMTs can and cannot do,” said Price.
Each year, students compete in Denver at the State Leadership Conference (SLC) in events such as Biomedical Debate, Public Service Announcements, and Mental Health Promotions. In the 2021 - 2022 school year, FFCHS took seven students to SLC, and one student qualified to go to the International Leadership Conference (ILC). The following year, in 2022-2023, 28 students participated in SLC, and 10 of them qualified for ILC. This year, HOSA staff advisors anticipate 60-80 students attending SLC.
“Part of the reason we have had such growth is because students who compete come back and talk about the amazing experience they have and opportunities the program opens up to them,” says Jessica Threadgill, HOSA Advisor.
Other opportunities for students include career exploration, so students can experience more professions, besides becoming a doctor or nurse. Student leadership is also an important aspect of HOSA. Everything is student-run and organized.
“We're trying our very hardest to make it like a community and like a family. Because we want this to be everyone’s best memory from high school,” said Junior Meghan Bybee.
Students are also able to enhance their understanding of the medical field while simultaneously making meaningful contributions to their school and community.
Last year, students interned at Long Term Care Facilities for 15 hours. Throughout their internship, they got to see how all the departments of the facilities work. They shadowed Certified Nursing Assistants, the Activities department, saw the workings of maintenance, and brought patients food.
HOSA students also work with Be the Match to help people get registered as bone marrow donors. Last year, Be the Match invited three FFCHS HOSA students to their headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. The students toured their facilities and were given gift cards to Macy’s to shop for professional attire.
This year, HOSA is working with JROTC to run Blood Drives at FFCHS. Students are also working on projects that focus on community education like Fentanyl Awareness by creating Public Service Announcements and Mental Health Promotions. They are also involved in Health Education by teaching elementary students about the cardiovascular system.
“I’ve gotten to do so many cool things and network alongside some actual doctors and do really cool dissections that I probably would have not gotten to do if I wasn’t a part of this program,” said Bybee.
HOSA is also implemented in some classes to give students more time to work with advisors, experienced competitors, and officers.
FFCHS students interested in joining HOSA can contact the advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.