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Health Science | High School | HOSA

3 Best Ways to Prepare High School Students for HOSA Events

February 27th, 2020 | 6 min. read

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As a health science curriculum developer, we work with thousands of high school health science teachers every year.

Many of these teachers are HOSA advisors in addition to being classroom teachers.

They often ask us for advice on how to best prepare their students for HOSA competitive events.

In this post, we’ll share the top three ways to set your students up for HOSA event success:

  1. Help your students pick the best events
  2. Incorporate HOSA events into your existing lessons
  3. Share resources that align to HOSA events

You’ll also discover how digital curriculum can help you teach your daily classes while also preparing your students for HOSA events!

1. Help Your Students Pick the Right Events for Them


The first step in setting your students up for success is helping them pick the HOSA events that are the best fit for them.

This is critical, as you want your students to choose events they are comfortable with, find enjoyable, and that relate well with their healthcare career goals.

On top of that, if your student chooses an event that’s not a good fit for them, they may end up discouraged and question whether healthcare is the right career path for them.

So, how can you help your students pick the right HOSA events for them?

Depending on how well you know your students’ strengths and career goals, you may already have a good idea of which events they should apply for.

However, if you’re new to being a HOSA advisor or you have a lot of new students in your chapter, you may need a little help!

To get the ball rolling, share this infographic provided by HOSA with your students:


To use this resource, print a copy for each student and ask them to work through the questions to identify areas they are and aren’t interested in.

Once your students have honed in on some specific possibilities, have them research those options by reviewing the competitive event guidelines.

At this point, you can act as a guide (you are the advisor, after all!) to help your students choose the event that’s the right fit for their strengths and the skills they want to focus on.

After you’ve honed in on the HOSA events your students will participate in, it’s time to help your students develop their skills and knowledge!

2. Incorporate HOSA Events Into Your Existing Lessons


Because you’re both a health science teacher and a HOSA advisor, it’s effective to incorporate HOSA event preparation into your class time.

While this sounds like just another item on your long list of things to do, tying HOSA into your lessons is easier than you may think. 

You may even be inadvertently preparing your students for HOSA events without realizing the connection!

So, how can you incorporate HOSA prep into your class time?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • When teaching a hands-on skill, have students use the related HOSA event guidelines to record how well their classmates follow the procedure.
  • If students will complete a group project, add an extra step of presenting information to tie in with the public speaking events.
  • Reinforce job seeking skills by having students role play interviews for healthcare careers.

For more ideas on integrating HOSA in your classroom, check out the HOSA Advisor Handbook.

Balancing Coursework with HOSA Preparation

Once you start incorporating HOSA into your lessons, it can be tempting to do so every day. However, you’ll want to balance regular coursework with these HOSA-related items.

Here’s how Dawn Anton of Grosse Ile High School, MI keeps that balance with her students:

“My co-teachers and I divide and conquer based on our own healthcare backgrounds. We offer one day every other week that is focused solely on HOSA skills and academic knowledge.

The students have options to use Chromebooks to study on AES, Quizlet, and other resources while the others practice skills.”

Depending on how many of your students are in HOSA, you may want to include HOSA-related activities more or less often than Dawn.

However, keep in mind that even your non-HOSA students will benefit from participating in these activities. 

After all, the goal of HOSA is to help students better prepare for healthcare careers -- something any health science student will appreciate!

3. Share Resources That Align to HOSA Events


In addition to helping your students prepare for their competitive events during class, you can also provide opportunities for them outside of the classroom.

You can do this by providing relevant digital resources they can review at any time.

But where can you find supplemental materials related to HOSA competitive events?

HOSA has a list of seven recommended resources to get you started:

  1. Empire State Public Health Training Center
  2. edX
  3. MIT OpenCourseWare
  4. The National Incident Management Systems (NIMS)
  5. Open Education Consortium
  6. TRAIN
  7. University of Colorado - School of Medicine Mini Med School

What’s great about these resources is they are free and openly accessible from any digital device.

That means your students can access them anytime they want to brush up on additional information to get ready for their events.

However, these sites contain hundreds of items to sort through to find something related to a specific HOSA event.

To help your students use these resources effectively, you’d likely need to do a lot of the heavy lifting to research which ones are most relevant to them.

That’s not to say the information won’t help in HOSA event preparation -- it just may take more time and energy than you or your students have available!

Prepare Your Students for HOSA Success While Meeting Your Standards

At the end of the day, the ideas and resources in this post can all help you prepare high school students for HOSA competitive events.

As you apply these ideas, you’ll find ways to adapt and grow each school year to better help your students succeed.

However, your role as a HOSA advisor is only one part of your position -- you also need to plan lessons, teach classes, and assess student learning in alignment with your course requirements.

If you’re looking for a structured way to teach your classes AND help your HOSA students succeed, consider checking out the AES digital curriculum, HealthCenter21.

HealthCenter21 has more than 600 curriculum hours to help you teach high school health science courses, from introductory concepts to certification preparation.

The curriculum is also aligned to 27 secondary HOSA events!

Wondering what HOSA advisors are saying about this digital curriculum?

“Using the HealthCenter21 modules has really helped free our hands when we have 30 HOSA kids all needing us to teach them the appropriate content in their chosen HOSA category.”

dawn-anton-circleDawn Anton
Grosse Ile High School

Want to see how HealthCenter21 can help you prepare students for HOSA event success?

Click below to discover how HealthCenter21 aligns to the secondary HOSA competitive events:

Read the Crosswalk to HOSA Secondary Events >