BY TITHI MAYANI
The Health and Wellness Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) students of Milton District High School participated in HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) on March 25th and 26th. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention, HOSA is a two-day competition for students that wish to pursue a career in healthcare.
Students who participate in HOSA must choose an event to participate in, such as Clinical Nursing, CPR/First Aid, EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Medical Terminology, Etiology, Nutrition, Pathophysiology, Biomedical Laboratory Sciences, and many more. Their scheduling at HOSA and their testing depended on the category they chose. Students that chose skills events were required to write a written exam on the first day.
If their placement in the written exam was high enough, amongst the other high school participants or teams, they would advance to the next round, which took place on Day 2. In the next round, they would be asked to perform any of the skills required for their event. Their scores would be tallied up from both written and skills tests and added up. For the people with written exams only, their scores would come purely from their exam.
The SHSM students boarded the bus at Milton District at 6:15 early Monday morning, and departed before sunrise. The HOSA opening ceremony started at 9:00 am, but the students arrived early enough that they got a chance to drop off their luggage in a common hotel room that they had been given. The students had a great time at the ceremony, listening to two guest speakers talk about a career in healthcare.
After that, the students spent the day writing their written exams and attending workshops provided by HOSA, where they learned about things such as suturing, casting, IV insertion, artificial intelligence in healthcare, medical school applications, dental casting.
As a celebration of their first day at HOSA, the students went out as a class to Marché, a restaurant in downtown Toronto styled after a marketplace. It had a diverse range of market stalls selling different foods. There was a bar selling drinks, a coffee place, a Patisserie, an Italian food stall, an East Asian stall, an ice cream stand, a salad bar, a bakery, a grill, and many more. The students were given $20 vouchers by the SHSM, but many ended up paying their own money as well.
Out of the MD students participating in events that had 2 rounds, Lauren Choi (Biomedical Laboratory Sciences), Areej Amjad (Clinical Nursing), Shiza Ahmed and Hessa Asmani (CPR/First Aid), Christine Hoskin and Joshua Mohen (Emergency Medicine Technician), and Zia Baig and Vanessa Wilson (Forensics) qualified for the second round. They were all required to attend their practical exams on the second day. The second day was spent attending more workshops, writing written exams (for those who had them).
Tired but happy, the students returned to Milton District High School that evening, at around 6pm. Although tiring and mildly stressful, the students all agree that they wouldn’t trade this trip for anything in the world! Well done to all the SHSM kids that participated. You’ve all made MD proud!
Congratulations to Areej Amjad for placing top in her category, and advancing to the International HOSA competition! Congratulations to Joshua Mohen and Christine Hoskin for placing top 10 in their category!