From Sunday, February 28th through Tuesday, March 1st, North Springs’ HOSA members attended the Georgia HOSA State Leadership Conference in downtown Atlanta. Over 3,900 HOSA members, supervisors, and guests stayed at the massive Marriott Marquis where the entire event, ceremonies, and competitions took place.
Five North Springs Spartans placed in the Top Five in their respective competitive events, and they will be eligible to move on to the National Leadership Competition that will take place in June in cities across the country. The qualifying students include: Josh Patton, Manshi Baskaran, Kerry Eiberger, Zacari Tatum, and Madeline Berns.
Junior and HOSA club president Josh Patton has been a HOSA member since his freshman year at North Springs. He placed fifth in Medical Spelling at the State Leadership Conference this year. Patton chose to compete in Medical Spelling because of his previous success in his second grade spelling bee. “I believed that I should reach back to my younger days and go with an event [with] which I am the most comfortable and feel like I can do the best.”
To prepare for his event, Patton used the same medical terminology book that he was given his freshman year. “When I found out that I qualified for the State Competition, every so often I would have my mom quiz me by pronouncing the words in the book to me, and I would spell them,” he says.
In the first round of testing at the State Leadership Conference, Medical Spelling competitors took a written exam, and the top 15 scoring students continued on to the spelling bee. Besides competing, Patton also met many new people at the conference.
“I created a great relationship with the national and state leaders,” says the North Springs HOSA president. “The [medical] workshop that I went to was led by Amit Sandha, the National HOSA President. [We] created a great relationship right away,” Patton recalls.
Of his win, Patton wastes no words. “My favorite memory from the trip was the moment I realized that I would be able to make it up onto the stage and have my name called to represent my school.”
Next year, Patton plans on competing in Medical Spelling again. “I feel like I should do this event again because I know that I can get 1st in the state if I review and study throughout the school year.”
Sophomore and HOSA club secretary Manshi Baskaran has been a HOSA member for the past two years. This year she won second place in Medical Assisting at the State Leadership Conference. Baskaran chose to compete in Medical Assisting because, “it has a very practical application and it will help me for my certification.”
Baskaran had to prepare for her event considerably before the competition. “In order to prepare for my competition, I had to study office procedures and infection control measures,” she explains.
Upon arrival, Baskaran took the Medical Assistant Knowledge Test and scored in the Top 15, which qualified her for the Skills Test. “Some of the skills I had to master included sterile gloving and inspecting a urine reagent strip. It was difficult because you have to use standard precautions, and the judges watch your every move.”
Besides the competitions, the HOSA State Leadership Conference ran medical workshops and educational symposiums. “The open-heart surgery [workshop] was interesting because it made me appreciate HOSA as a whole,” Baskaran expounds.
Baskaran plans on competing at the national level this summer, but in the meantime she plans on studying for the written knowledge test and practicing her medical assistant procedure skills.
Freshman Kerry Eiberger won third place in Behavioral Health Psychology, HOSA’s newest competitive event. Eiberger chose this category because she is, “considering pursuing psychiatry as a career and thought this event was an excellent opportunity to gain experience and knowledge.”
Overall, Eiberger enjoyed her HOSA experience. “My experience was very positive and inspiring,” shares the freshman. “The workshops were informative and enjoyable. I gained so much insight into the workings of behavioral health in the span of three days. The [opening and closing] ceremonies I attended were filled with gifted individuals making enormous strides toward success.”
If she chooses to compete at the national conference, Eiberger plans to “broaden [her] knowledge of potential treatments of mental health disorders as well as investigate the history and foundation of psychology.”
Next year, Eiberger might compete in Medical Math “because of its wide range of applications and relevance to every study.”
Sophomore Zacari Tatum won 4th place in Prepared Speaking, an event that she chose because she, “has always struggled with public speaking”, and she believed that confronting her fear would help her improve her speaking abilities.
Ultimately, Tatum was successful in conquering her public speaking phobia. “Not only did it aid in my speaking abilities, but it was [also] a new endeavor that I proved to be successful in. I also enjoyed it and thought it was fun.”
Tatum not only enjoyed her competitive event but also the rest of the HOSA experience. She attended interesting workshops on strokes and cardiac surgery. “I learned a lot, and they really made me appreciate HOSA as a whole,” Tatum reflects.
At the conference, Tatum enjoyed meeting new people and connecting with other HOSA students. “My favorite memory was [when] a fellow student and I sung karaoke to “Eye of the Tiger”,’ she shares.
Freshman Madeline Berns was awarded third place in the Extemporaneous Writing category, an event she chose because she is a strong writer. “To prepare, I practiced how fast I could type,” Berns explains. “I also researched a couple medical issues and facts about HOSA.”
Berns contends that the most difficult part of her event was having no prior knowledge on the essay topic, however she plans to study more topics for the next time she competes.
Berns enjoyed the educational workshops HOSA provided, as well as the annual opening and closing ceremonies. “The ceremonies were really hyped up!” exclaimed Berns.
Berns plans on competing in Extemporaneous Writing again next year, “simply because it’s something [she] enjoyed doing.”