Club provides students with medical opportunities

Bone marrow, benevolence for troops, bigtime national contests, batteries and Biomed all have one thing in common: HOSA club.

For over four years now, students in the Biomed program at the Red River Technology Center have been able to participate in the Biomed chapter of HOSA, a student medical organization that offers its members opportunities to compete in contests and perform acts of community service while learning about health careers.

“HOSA spreads awareness for medical careers and diseases and things like that,” senior and HOSA president Will Browning said. “We do a lot of community service to help out our community and support the medical professionals of this world.”

HOSA, which used to stand for Health Occupation Students of America but is now known as Future Health Professionals, is a nationwide organization that has several chapters here in Duncan. The Biomed chapter is in its fifth year, and so far, it has been very successful.

HOSA advisor and Biomed teacher Edith Suiter has been involved in the club for as long as it’s been around in the Biomed program, and she has many experiences with the club that she can recount, including many competitions the organization has held.

“I was the adviser that got to take kids to the national competition in Orlando,” she said. “[two years ago] I took students to the national competition in Nashville.”

According to Suiter, the national competitions, which consist of tests and ‘practicals,’ or more hands-on demonstrations, vary in format.

“Sometimes it’s an individual competition,” she said. “We had a student who went to nationals in veterinary science. So she had to learn all the tools that a veterinarian would use and all the procedures that they might do. And so she had to actually perform, she didn’t know in advance which procedures.”

The competitions that membership in the club offers, however, are not the only aspect of HOSA. The club also performs many acts of community service.

“Right now we’re collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald house,” Amber Powers, vice president of the Biomed branch of HOSA, said. “We’re also collecting toys and candy to take to the therapy sessions at the hospital. They have the kids that work there, they give them treats and different things to help them with their therapy.”

In the past, HOSA has done community service for many different causes.

“First year, [fellow Biomed teacher] Mrs. Lovett’s son was in Iraq, and so we collected items and we shipped them to Iraq,” Suiter said. “We ended up actually shipping 36 boxes.”

In addition, HOSA has also helped out with a bone marrow drive and collected batteries for recycling in the past.

“Last year we did a bone marrow donor bank,” Suiter said. “Just swab their cheek, put it in a vial, we captured the information, they filled out a form, and we shipped it to the bone marrow bank.”

Browning recalls the time that HOSA collected batteries.

“We collected batteries, and we took them to a processing facility so they’d stay out of the waste plants,” he said.

People who aren’t in the Biomed program can still participate in HOSA. According to Browning, both the Red River Technology Center’s Health Careers classes and Duncan Regional Hospital offer opportunities to participate in the club.

Many different subject-centered clubs are available to high school students, and HOSA completely fills in the medical area of the subject spectrum.