The Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) state conference has been held at Pittsburg State University for the last four years. This event is geared towards high school students who have deemed health occupations as their future career of choice. This year’s event was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20, through Thursday, Feb. 21. However, due to impending weather, it was decided that the event would be held completely on Thursday.
“We’re improvising,” said Seth Nutt, Kansas State Advisor of HOSA. “The conferences were supposed to be all day Wednesday through Thursday afternoon, but we decided to play it safe. So, things will start Thursday morning at 8:30 (a.m.) and wrap up around 6:30 that night.”
The day is composed of different kinds of competitions, all related to health-based skills. Some of the activities are centered around teamwork and others are knowledge based, such as questions about medical terminology. Some activities are more physical skills, such as CPR or physical therapy.
“Students that are competing at the State Conference are competing to place in the top three, as well as meet the national mean,” said Nutt. “The students that meet those requirements are then invited to compete at the national level.”
The National HOSA conference will be held in Orlando, Florida this year and is scheduled to take place sometime in June. These competitions are great for students interested in the health field to expand their skills and knowledge of their future careers, as well as to network with other future and current health workers.
“All students are interested in future health professions,” said Nutt. “So, this just provides them some experience as they go into their secondary education focusing on health care careers.”
HOSA Kansas partners with Pittsburg State University, as well as the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing.
“We have a great working relationship with the nursing school, so four years ago we reached out to them to see if they’d be willing to become a sponsor and provide engaging opportunities for the students, as well as to advertise PSU health career related programs,” said Nutt. “They were onboard, and we’ve held it here at PSU ever since.”
HOSA Kansas has also partnered with many other programs at PSU for this year’s event, including PSU Army ROTC, the psychology department, social work department, biology department, exercise science program, therapeutic rec program, etc. Admissions attended the expo this year to answer questions for potential students and families.
“Due to the change in schedule, the expo was held from 8-11 (a.m.) on Thursday,” said Nutt. “We feel this will still allow students and families plenty of time between activities to ask the questions they have about health-related programs offered at PSU.”
This event is important to the incoming potential students as Pitt State, as well as future health care workers. This event opens many doors for the students, as well as allowing the university the chance to speak with incoming students about opportunities PSU offers.