RBHS HOSA competitors to advance to national tournament


HOSA members gather in preparation for a competition. Photo by Devesh Kumar.

Ji-Sung Lee

[dropcap style=”simple” size=”4″]H[/dropcap]eld on March 27 and 28, the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) event is held annually for schools all across Missouri. The state tournament gave competitors the opportunity to qualify for nationals, which will take place from June 21-24 at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. Many RBHS students will attend the national tournament.
Among national qualifiers are sophomore Matthew Burns, juniors Billie Huang, Yoo Jin Jeong and Yash Khanna who advanced in Biomedical Debate.  Along with the team competition, some individuals earned a spot to Orlando. Sophomore Tanya Ramadoss individually qualified in Healthy Lifestyle, junior Tracey Singer qualified in Knowledge Test: Behavioral Health and sophomore Kathleen Meininger qualified in Knowledge Tests: Pathophysiology.  
“HOSA is an organization at the career center for students who plan on careers in the medical field,” Huang said.  “It’s a leadership and community service group. We do monthly service projects like going to the food bank, making cards for veterans and fundraisers for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Through our leadership conferences we learn about what a good leader does at school and in a medical setting.”
Despite qualifying for the national competition, Huang is only a rookie at the event, never having any previous experience before she competed this past March.
“This is my first year doing HOSA altogether, so this is my first time time at nationals,” Huang said.  “This will be the second time for my partner Yash to qualify. It is still unclear if he’ll be able to even compete.”
Though Huang will be competing on a national scale, her nerves have settled despite the competition she’ll face in a couple months.
“I’m more excited than nervous since we’ll be in Florida,” Huang said.  “We qualified out of luck. We’ll have to study a lot for the multiple choice exam and clean up our debate cases so we have a shot at placing.”
Although Jeong is going in as a new contender like Huang, she has already prepared ideas and strategies to make their performance stronger.
[quote]“I can’t wait to compete with other great teams from all over the nation and to have a fun time with our teammates,” Jeong said.  “[In preparation, my group will] get together and go through the terms of the specific topics that we have to know.  Also I’m looking forward to building up a stronger case and researching more evidence for our debate.”[/quote] While Jeong works on ways to improve their performance, Khanna recalls on past preparation to analyze if they resulted in success.
“We prepared for the debate by first looking for reliable sources on the internet,” Khanna said.  “[We found] general articles related to the ranks of the American healthcare system in comparison to other countries.  From there, we started creating the points which we wanted to talk about for each side.  Since we are required to prepare both the affirmative and negative side, we made an outline of points.  [We] then used the articles we found and started using that to fill in the case.”
As national qualifiers, the team’s tactics and methods worked well, but despite the group’s success, Khanna was still thoroughly surprised.
“We were not expecting to qualify to nationals at all.  We felt that we were winning until the very last speech, but after that, we felt very iffy,” Khanna said.  “After that speech, we felt that we may have lost the round.  The way HOSA announces winners is that they narrow it down to the top five.  We were on the list so we went down to the stage.  Only the top 3 are qualifiers. We heard our names first, and were thrilled to find out we had won.  Typically, if you make the top three it is a given you won the rounds, which came as a shock.  So we were definitely surprised.”
Are you a member of HOSA? Let us know in the comments below.