Franklin High School celebrates National HOSA Week

Published 8:45 am Friday, November 6, 2009

FRANKLIN—HOSA is the acronym for Health Occupations Students of America, and Franklin High School began its Health and Medical Science Program in 1996.

HOSA was founded in the United States in 1976, and in Virginia, in 1980.

This is a career and technical student organization for high school and postsecondary students who plan to pursue future professional health care careers.

Students are provided a strong foundation for these careers through skill development, leadership opportunities, and community service.

Ultimately, its purpose is to alleviate the national shortage of health care workers. Annually, during our program, 30 students provide approximately 4,500 health care practicum service hours at East Pavilion, Southampton Memorial Hospital, The Village at Woods Edge — Manor for Assisted Living, S.P. Morton Elementary School, The Children’s Center, and Family Practice Associates, Inc. At this time we have had 218 graduates of the Nursing Assistant program.

Thirty have graduated from college; 13 are BSNs; 20 are R.Ns; 26 are pursuing their RN degree – seven of those students are currently attending the P.D. Camp Community College R.N. Program; nine are LPNs, who have graduated from Southampton Memorial Hospital School of Practical Nursing; one is a M.D. in OB-GYN; one has a master’s degree in hospital administration; nine are medical assistants; two are in a Medical Assistant program.

One hundred sixty-one students have passed the NNAAP exam and are Certified Nursing Assistants, and 48 are Nursing Assistants. Approximately 60 percent of our graduates are employed within the Franklin area, and approximately 25 percent are employed outside of Franklin.

Seventy five percent of our graduates have completed the program at the end of their junior year in high school, allowing them to pursue work in the health care field immediately. Eighty to 90 students are certified and recertified annually in CPR, AED, and First Aid.

Additionally, our students have been most successful on the state and national level of HOSA.

They compete in a wide variety of events such as community awareness and health education projects, nursing assistant, medical reading, medical math, biomedical debate, knowledge tests, outstanding state and national HOSA Week and Chapter, newsletter, Barbra James Service Volunteer Awards, and chapter scrapbook, to name a few events.

They have placed first to third more than 60 times throughout these conferencess. Our Virginia HOSA Conference for 2010 will again be held in historical Williamsburg in March, and the HOSA National Leadership Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida in June.

Our goal for HOSA Week, Nov. 1-8, and throughout the year is that of educating the school and community of the need for good handwashing and infection prevention in our homes, schools, and workplaces.

In this time of peak flu season and with the additional H1N1 concern, we cannot emphasize enough the need for prevention and education. Our HOSA members provided handwashing classes at S.P. Morton Elementary School to all Bright Starts, kindergarten, and first grade classes. At the high school, we are targeting all classes with handwashing and flu prevention information during lunch time and with posters throughout the building.

Our emphasis is on the fact that nothing beats correct handwashing often. Students and staff were encouraged to take the H1N1 vaccine last week. We made safety bags for each staff member, and these bags included gloves, Band-aids, Kleenexes, antiseptic waterless cleansers, emery boards, and alcohol prep pads. Drawings will be held each day for first aid kits, and safety bags for teachers and students. Daily HOSA questions will be asked over the PA system, and the winners will receive prizes handmade by HOSA members and advisors.

On Wednesday, our Nursing Assistant II class will honor the staff members at East Pavilion with snacks and refreshments. This is our means of showing our appreciation to these health care workers who work so hard to provide quality care to their residents and for the assistance they provide to our students.

Additionally, we will honor Starr Harris, our School Nurse, as she is a leader and role model to our students, as she leads them through enriching health care experiences as they rotate through the elementary school.

Finally, it is through the grant funding that Franklin-Southampton Charities has provided to our school system and to this program, which has allowed our students these opportunities that lead into the health care careers they have chosen.

This grant provides indigent students with uniforms, name badges, the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program Exam for C.N.A. certifications in addition to adult/child/infant CPR, AED, and First Aide certifications annually.

Additionally, these funds assist our students with the necessary clinical immunizations, blood titers, and criminal background checks, which are required by the Virginia Board of Nursing prior to clinical experience in the hospital setting.

Financial assistance is necessary to allow attendance at our state and national leadership academy conferences, where students compete with their peers, bringing enhancement to the quality, teaching, and cultural activities of our program.

We express our sincere appreciation to our school board, central office staff, building administrators, bus drivers, and local health care facilities, which provide us with these clinical settings and experiences, as we continue to offer health care education to our youth and the utmost quality health care to our community.

Join us in celebrating Virginia’s 30th HOSA Week across our state.