Cañon City High School Students Compete in Health Occupation Students of America – Canon City Daily Record
Although this is Cañon City High School’s first year participating in Health Occupation Students of America, a Future Health Occupations club, the program has already produced two outstanding students who placed 10th in a national competition. in June.
“A club like HOSA builds leadership skills,” said teacher and registered nurse Melissa Hardy. “It makes students well-rounded, so when they enter the workforce, they not only have the knowledge base that comes from the classroom, but have the personality traits that will allow them to succeed in the workplace. college and in their careers.”
Olivia Grooters, who graduated in 2021, and Connor McCardell, a future senior, both took part in the student-run organization and discovered new outlets provided by the club.
“Just being in the club – we got to see a lot. We went to the cadaver lab, it was very convenient, we got to touch a bunch of organs, but there are also a lot of other things that go with the more scientific side,” McCardell said.
Both Grooters and McCardell are (or were) part of the CCHS Vocational/Technical Training Stream and HOSA has proven to be a valuable addition to the program.
The two entered a contest during the State Leadership Conference in Denver in February. The competition focused on student skills in first aid and CPR.
“They must have spent hours and hours of their time practicing these skills,” said Melissa Hardy, a teacher and registered nurse.
To enter the state-level competition, both students had to test in the top 20% of entrants. Fourteen teams showed up at the leadership conference, and once there, the two were tested in a hands-on real-time first aid casualty and CPR casualty test. Grooters attended to the first aid victim who, in his case, had suffered severe third-degree burns, and McCardell was tested in his knowledge of CPR.
The team placed second, which qualified them for the international competition June 21-24 in Nashville, Tennessee.
As with state-level competition, Grooters and McCardell took a written test, where they were successfully tested in the top 35 teams. To put things into perspective, over 10,500 students participated in the competition and over 100 teams in the written exam.
By luck of the draw, Grooters once again attended to a severe burn victim and McCardell attended to the CPR victim. Out of 35 international teams, the two ranked a respectable 10th.
“Getting this far has been amazing and giving credit to those who actually qualified for Nationals – we were lucky to place,” Grooters said.
Their impressive freshman placement is the result of not only their hard work, but also the dedication of their teacher and the support of the community.
“It was a community effort. I think with the airfare and hotel rooms, we raised almost $6,500,” Hardy said. “It was a lot of corporate sponsorship, many businesses in the city have sponsored them.”
Grooters plans to attend CSP-Pueblo and major in pre-medical sciences to become a doctor. Initially, she wanted to be a nurse but, thanks to her expanded knowledge, she hopes to succeed in becoming a doctor.
McCardell hopes to complete a BS in nursing and is currently on track to do all of her prerequisites for a nursing program before she even graduates from high school.
The HOSA club at CCHS had 12 students in the 21-22 school year and next year there will likely be even more due to the success of Grooters and McCardell.