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Draper Journal

What’s up, doc? HOSA, medical pathways enrollment high at CCHS

Nov 06, 2018 02:21PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Corner Canyon High’s HOSA leaders will invite guest speakers in the medical field to come teach about their careers at their monthly meetings. (Photo courtesy of Corner Canyon High School HOSA chapter)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Last year, junior Talia Larsen was one of about 20 students who were involved in the health occupations student association (HOSA) chapter at Corner Canyon High School, and she even will admit she “didn’t do much.”

This year, Larsen is one of the student leaders in the club that has an active 126 members.

“A big reason for the increase is because of the new medical pathways,” she said. “With certain classes, it gets students prepared for the medical field. Plus, when you complete it, you get a medallion and a cord at graduation.”

The required courses include biology, chemistry, intro to health science, medical anatomy and physiology, one pre-med elective, a medical internship and 40 volunteer hours, 18 of which are clinical hours. Students also are required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above and be actively involved in HOSA.

“Last year, I taught all the classes, but I thought there has to be a better way to connect and expand what we’re offering to help connect students to classes,” biology and health science teacher and HOSA adviser Taylor Anderson said. 

After HOSA met with an assistant principal, the medical pathways were aligned, outlining which courses students need each year of high school to complete it. 

“We put up posters around the school and presented it to students here and at Draper Park Middle School and it just exploded. I was shocked when I first saw the numbers,” Anderson said, adding that last year there were 14 students in intro to health sciences and this year, there are 130. “We had so many kids register for intro to health sciences that another teacher had to take two sections.” 

That teacher, Janelle Hanks, now is a second HOSA adviser.

In time, Anderson would like to see students earn college or AP credit for courses.

“This provides students a good understanding in the medical career and they’re gaining actual experience, three state CTE (career and technical education) certificates, honor cords and a pre-med medallion for commencement. We even have a white coat ceremony, where we explain their accomplishments,” he said.

Larsen, who wants to enter into physical therapy, has job shadowed in the area.

“I thought it was so cool to be able to help people, and for me being athletic, it’s a nice fit,” she said.

Now, through HOSA Larsen is hoping to help others learn about medical careers through inviting guest speakers in the field to come teach and talk about their careers at their monthly meetings. Along with the leadership team, HOSA leadership also is lining up field trips to learn more about various medical fields, and they plan to host a blood drive at the school.

“We’ve seen cadavers, and in medical anatomy, we’ve dissected animals and looked at the human brain. It’s cool stuff,” Larsen said.

The chapter also plans to participate in the state contest March 21–22, 2019, in Layton, where Larsen is looking forward to competing in the physical therapy division. Last year, Anderson said of the eight Corner Canyon students who competed, three qualified for nationals.

Anderson said the vision of HOSA lies with the students.

“It’s a student-led organization and it can go as far as they want to take it. I want them to have a great experience, a love of science, a love of learning about the human body and the medical profession,” he said, adding that the coursework supports students pursuing interests from exercise and sports medicine to veterinarian medicine.

As an officer for HOSA, Larsen realizes she’s learning leadership skills as well. In early October, HOSA student leaders participated in a fall leadership conference in Provo attended by 400 people from 52 Utah high schools.

Larsen, who said keynote speaker Patty Hendrickson spoke about defining purpose and keeping people engaged in meetings, provided opportunities for she and the team to bond, plan activities for the year and set goals.

“I’m already putting my organization and people skills in place as I help others and make things happen,” she said. “I’m learning and having more opportunities.”