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Health Science | HOSA

What Is HOSA and How Does It Benefit Health Science Students?

December 27th, 2021 | 5 min. read

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As a health science curriculum provider, we work with hundreds of CTE health science teachers every year.

Many of these teachers are brand new and have heard of HOSA, but aren’t familiar with what HOSA is and how it can help their students prepare for careers.

On this page, we’ll answer the most common questions health science teachers ask us about HOSA:

  1. What is HOSA?
  2. Who can join HOSA?
  3. How does HOSA benefit your students?
  4. How can teachers support their students in HOSA?

By the end of this article, you'll understand both what HOSA is and the many ways it can help your students succeed. 

1. What Is HOSA?

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HOSA, officially known as HOSA-Future Health Professionals, is the career and technical student organization (CTSO) specifically dedicated to preparing students for careers in the Health Science career cluster.

The mission of HOSA is to empower its members “to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration, and experience.”

Currently, there are more than 245,000 HOSA members across 54 chartered HOSA Associations across the world.

2. Who Can Join HOSA?

HOSA has three levels of student membership, that it calls “divisions”:

  • Middle School Division
  • Secondary Division
  • Postsecondary/Collegiate Division

To become a member of one of the divisions, a student must meet two criteria. The first is that the student must be in the appropriate level of schooling (as described in the division names).

Second, the student must either be in a health science program or plan to pursue a career in healthcare. This is key to note, as interested students may not be enrolled in a CTE health science program but can still join HOSA.

The only exception is the third division – postsecondary/collegiate. In order to join, a student must be enrolled in a postsecondary or college health science program.

Along with those specific criteria, students who want to join HOSA must join an official HOSA chapter by getting in touch with their school’s chapter advisor.

If students are interested in joining HOSA but their school doesn’t have a chapter, they need to talk to their health science instructors about starting a new HOSA chapter themselves!

3. How Does HOSA Benefit Health Science Students?

Like any CTSO, HOSA provides its members with opportunities to grow their skills in order to have successful careers.

Being involved in an organization like HOSA, students quickly build soft skills like teamwork and communication. Additionally, students can take on leadership roles as officers at the local, state, or national level.

Along with interpersonal skills, HOSA helps students hone their hands-on healthcare skills through the HOSA Competitive Events Program.

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Events are initially held at the regional level and students who qualify there can go on to compete at the state or national events.

During the events, students demonstrate a wide range of professional and healthcare skills, such as:

While receiving an award or recognition can be a highlight for students, HOSA reinforces that there is more to the programs and events than just getting an award.

Overall, the goal for HOSA members is to hone their skills and knowledge to prepare for a successful career in healthcare!

4. How Can You Support HOSA as a Teacher?

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As a health science instructor, you play an important role in helping prepare students for the workforce.

This is also true when it comes to supporting students in HOSA, as the organization states: “Just as HOSA wouldn’t exist without students; HOSA Advisors are the backbone to the organization.”

So how can you support HOSA in your school and give your students these amazing opportunities?

HOSA has a Chapter Advisor Resource Guide with information, guidelines, and tips to help you! This resource is broken into 11 sections to take you from square one to a full-fledged HOSA advisor:

  1. Get to know HOSA
  2. Get connected
  3. Recruit students
  4. Affiliate
  5. Develop bylaws
  6. Role of the HOSA advisor
  7. Elect officers
  8. Hold chapter meetings
  9. Plan activities
  10. HOSA in the classroom through competitive events
  11. Attend conferences

While this is a lot of information to go through, supporting your students through HOSA comes down to one thing -- effectively helping your students develop skills for success in health care careers.

Want to Prepare Your High Schoolers for HOSA Events?

In this article, you've learned a bit about HOSA, how you can support it, and the ways it can benefit your students to join. But what do you with this information? What are the next steps to ensuring your students thrive in HOSA?

One of the best ways you can help your students succeed in HOSA--and their future healthcare careers--is to prepare them for HOSA's Competitive Events Program.

This program is such a huge part of being a HOSA member that it's often a teacher’s main focus when planning. When students compete in these events, they gain awards, recognition, and most importantly, experience in the skills they need to succeed in healthcare. 

If you're interested in preparing your students for HOSA competitions and helping them develop essential healthcare skills, check out this article on the best ways to prepare high schoolers for HOSA events:

Discover How to Prepare Students for HOSA Competitive Events