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My Experience as a Judge for HOSA

As  a member of a communication group and also being a pharmacist, I was honored to be invited as a judge at HOSA, a competition where students showcase their projects related to health.  I really liked the idea of being there as it was part of healthcare and being involved in health care for about 2 decades.

There were two  judges for the group presentation by participants. The students came into groups of 4 to 5 students each, ready to present their carefully prepared projects. Each group tackled a health-related topic, ranging from general hygiene to pressing issues like cancer.

The participants' goal was clear: identify the problem, quantify its impact on individuals and society, and propose actionable steps towards resolution. It was inspiring to witness the depth of their research and the passion with which they approached their topics.

These students had dedicated months to their projects, even taking their presentations beyond the classroom. I recall one group who had presented to various student groups across multiple locations talking mainly to the student body at other schools etc, while others had taken their message to the public, including presentations outside Kroger stores.

When the students entered the judging room, they delivered their presentations with confidence and eloquence. Each member of the group seamlessly contributed their part, showcasing a cohesive understanding of their subject matter.

What struck me most was not just the knowledge these students possessed but their ability to translate that knowledge into action. They didn't stop at research; they actively created awareness, raised funds, and engaged with their communities to drive change.

When students join HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), they embark on a journey filled with invaluable learning experiences that shape their future in the medical field.

Here are some key learning points for students who join HOSA:

  1. Self-Discovery: HOSA offers students the opportunity to explore their interests and gain clarity about their passions within the medical field. It serves as a platform for students to discern whether a career in healthcare is the right path for them.

  2. Access to Authentic Medical Information: Through HOSA, students become adept at navigating reliable sources of medical information. They learn where to access critical information swiftly, a skill essential in the healthcare profession.

  3. Awareness of Healthcare Challenges: HOSA fosters a deep understanding of the prevalence of healthcare issues and the underlying reasons behind them. Students become aware of the complexities surrounding various medical problems, enabling them to approach them with empathy and insight.

  4. Problem-Solving Skills: Joining HOSA instills in students a sense of urgency to address healthcare challenges. They learn to proactively seek solutions, fostering a mindset of innovation and problem-solving.

  5. Teamwork and Collaboration: HOSA provides a collaborative environment where students work together, each contributing their unique skills and perspectives. Through teamwork, students develop tolerance, empathy, and emotional intelligence, essential qualities for success in healthcare.

  6. Communication and Presentation Skills: Students in HOSA cultivate the ability to articulate their ideas effectively through both written content and presentations. They learn to engage and connect with diverse audiences, honing their communication skills for both professional and public settings.

  7. Emphasis on Presentation Skills: HOSA emphasizes the importance of presentation skills, recognizing them as a crucial aspect of conveying knowledge and engaging audiences. Students learn to craft compelling presentations that effectively communicate their ideas and solutions, a skill invaluable in the medical field.

In essence, HOSA offers students far more than just academic knowledge; it provides them with the skills, awareness, and confidence to excel in the dynamic world of healthcare. Through HOSA, students not only discover their passion for healthcare but also develop the essential skills and qualities to make a meaningful difference in the field

Overall, my experience as a judge for HOSA was nothing short of excellent. It was a privilege to witness the dedication and creativity of these young minds as they tackled real-world health challenges head-on. For parents considering HOSA training for their children, rest assured that it offers a platform for personal growth, leadership development, and the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the world.

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By Jay Pujara

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