On Dec. 2, Health Occupation Students of America members across the state participated in the preliminary online test to advance to the area competition. Of the students competing, four members have advanced to the state competition on March 31 in San Antonio.
“[Students] have to go above and beyond what they normally do in class,” Health Science teacher Joan Mooney said. “Our area, [which] is very competitive, goes from Atascasita to Tomball to south Houston to Conroe so there are hundreds of students competing so [they] have to work really hard.”
Students must rank in the top three in their specific test in order to advance straight to state. Senior Josh Hughes advanced to state after placing first in medical terminology.
“I didn’t have any real strict study sessions,” Hughes said. “[I mostly studied] while I wasn’t doing anything in class. Having a health science class helped because then [I got to] look it over.”
Senior Sean French, who will compete at state for pathophysiology, the study of human diseases, said that he felt it was his hard work studying that helped him most on the online test.
“We have an hour and a half to take [a 100 question test] and it took me about 20 minutes,” French said. “I have a book that’s about 1,500 pages long and it has all known diseases [in it]. I literally read the book cover to cover.”
Also advancing to state is junior Raveena Patel in medical math. Patel said that after not advancing in a team event last year, making it to state as an individual served as a big accomplishment.
“I felt that math was my strong point so I decided to do medical math,” Patel said. “I had to study formulas and conversions and drug dosages. Everyone told me medical math was really hard so I didn’t think I’d get second.”
According to Mooney, the amount of work put into the competition varies from student to student. The sense of accomplishment from making it to state is well worth the work.
“It’s a big honor because there are thousands of students competing across the nation,” Mooney said. “To get to state and certainly to nationals is a very big honor and it certainly looks good on a resume.”
For French, the competition was a chance to prove himself his senior year.
“My mom is a doctor so it gives me a chance to make her proud,” French said. “Last year I wanted to test myself just to see what I knew, and I ended up going to state. I was one place away from making nationals. Because of that, I [am] determined to go to nationals this year.”
Hughes said that making state made all of his hard work worth it.
“[Making state] means all these facts and figures and words that I know aren’t quite as useless as they seem right now,” Hughes said. “That obviously they’re valuable and ultimately useful. And [means] that I’m the best at [medical terminology].”
Also advancing to state is junior Clarissa Sanchez in current events. The HOSA area competition is the weekend of Jan. 27 at Tomball High School for students who have not advanced to state. Competing students will participate in tests and presentations in order to advance.