Image courtesy of Virginia HOSA
Earlier in the school year, a group of passionate students interested in the medical field started a chapter of the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club at Jefferson. HOSA provides students with the opportunity to compete individually or as part of a team in any of four diverse categories related to qualities healthcare professionals must have including Emergency Preparedness, Teamwork, Leadership, and Recognition. This weekend, students in HOSA virtually competed in the Virginia HOSA State Leadership Conference.
“The tournament was definitely a little chaotic online,” freshman Lindsay Hwang said. “We had to email teachers beforehand and let them know that we would miss class for a bit, but the whole tournament ended up getting delayed by 45 minutes.”
With the tournament taking place in a virtual environment, unexpected errors and mishaps created delays in the system. As a result, some students who were supposed to miss out on only a small portion of class missed on almost the entire school day.
Students prepared for the conference in many different ways, either individually or with groupmates. Members of the Jefferson HOSA club have prepared for weeks during weekly club practices and outside of school.
“Because the conference was virtual, [the competition] was an open note exam,” freshman Vidhi Sharma said. “My partner and I made a long study guide with all the needed information and topics, like CPR for adults and infants, and continued to add on to the study guide [during club meetings], since we didn’t have to memorize anything.”
The weekend conference was not limited to written and skill-based tests; it also offered Q&A forums with healthcare professionals. Despite the stress of the assessments, the conference gave students the opportunity to relieve their tension through these forums.
“There were a lot of workshops that we could attend and on Sunday the tournament close[d]s off with a closing ceremony,” freshman Vidhi Sharma said. “There [were] also a lot of different speakers you can visit and listen to.”
Students were still able to make the best out of the conference in an online environment. Although several changes had to be made for the conference, students’ assessment preparation has nevertheless paid off.
“The tournament felt a lot harder [than expected]. The questions were definitely much more difficult,” Hwang said. “It definitely could’ve gone better but it wasn’t terrible.”