Thomas County Central High School students competing in healthcare-related events are advancing in their fields of study.
Several members of the school’s Healthcare Science program have placed in HOSA region events and moved on to the HOSA State Leadership Conference, which will be held on the University of Georgia campus this March. HOSA Future Health Professionals, which boasts more than 165,000 members nation-wide, endeavors to empower students to develop as leaders and as healthcare professionals.
TCCHS competes in Region 4, Southwest Georgia, which includes 23 counties. Five students tested and all placed at region, according to TCCHS Healthcare Science instructor Cindy Griner, who is also a registered nurse. Regional testing is accomplished locally and TCCHS students tested via computer Jan. 15 in the school media center with an approved proctor.
“Mrs. (Wendy) Luke (fellow healthcare science teacher and registered nurse) and I are so excited about the growth of our students and about their achievement as leaders within their peer group,” Griner said. “We are so proud of them! They are to be commended for their studies beyond the rigor of the regular classroom setting.”
Hannah Dixon and Jordan Bush placed third in the CPR/First Aid category; Taylor Searcy and Palmer Nesmith placed third in Forensic Medicine; and, Li Guanghui placed first in Medical Math, which is knowledge of drug calculations.
“I was happy to find out Jordan and I qualified for state because I had so much fun going to the state competition last year,” Hannah Dixon said. “I was a little disappointed to find out we came in third in our region because we had studied so hard, but we are still practicing and studying hard for the state competition.”
Guanghui was surprised by the first place finish.
“I was surprised and excited because I did not feel that I had done well on the exam,” Guanghui, who is interested in being a pharmacist, said. “The test included unit conversions, medical terminology, and dosage conversions.”
Taylor Searcy and Palmer NeSmith were able to use not only their healthcare science experiences, but also knowledge from Scott Sweetings’s forensic science class to help them in their Forensic Medicine category.
“It’s basically a mixture of crime investigation and healthcare,” Taylor Searcy said of her category. “We just had to study for a multiple choice test and now we move on to competition in Athens, where we’ll analyze a crime scene.”
Jordan Bush and Dixon, who are also the school HOSA chapter’s co vice-presidents, competed in the CPR/First Aid section. They were required to take an online test about this field for region.
“Now, qualifying for state, we will move on to the skills section, which includes mastering adult, child and infant CPR, as well as many basic first aid skills that will all be presented in front of judges,” Bush said.
In addition to the five regional winners, TCCHS also has Donna Wilson and McKaylin Roberts participating in the Health Career Display division at the state conference.
Students must continue to study materials for their individual categories, as well as practice the skills portion of their event, to prepare for state, Griner said.
“This dedicated work will ensure that each one is confident competing on the state level,” she said.
Bush said she was “extremely excited and nervous” to learn her duo had qualified for state. She agreed preparing for state will be “a lot of hard work” but said they are up to the challenge.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, including many skills to learn and practice religiously,” she said. “Georgia HOSA is a large and competitive event with a competition of a couple thousand students. Although the competition is tough, we have the motivation and determination this year to come home with the gold.”