Choosing the Right Competitive Event for You!

Welcome back to an exciting new year of HOSA! We (the HOSA Executive Council) hope to use this blog and other forms of social media to interact in a greater capacity  with the nearly 235,000 HOSA members across the globe! The HOSA Blog will feature updates from the Executive Council, information about upcoming HOSA events, spotlights on health careers and opportunities, as well as local and state chapter activities. If you are interested in submitting a blog entry, please feel free to contact an Executive Council Member.

We know your HOSA year has been off to a terrific start and we want to use our first HOSA Blog to share a little bit about HOSA’s Competitive Events Program!

 After reading this blog you will:

  • Learn about HOSA’s Specialized Competitive Events (CE) Program
  • Read CE Experiences from 2 Executive Council Members
  • See how CE can help you as a Future Health Professional
  • Decide which CE is right for you and your interests


HOSA’s Competitive Events Program

HOSA-Future Health Professionals’ Competitive Events Program is designed to motivate HOSA members and provide a system for recognizing the competencies developed by members through Health Science and Biomedical Science class instruction, related job training, and HOSA related activities. Competitive events are designed to motivate HOSA members to improve their knowledge and skills. HOSA does not provide competition for competition's sake. HOSA provides a national competitive events program as a means of recognizing those students who are willing to pursue excellence by preparing for competition and having the determination to attend a conference and participate in a competitive event. With six categories of competitive events (Health  Science, Health Professions, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, Teamwork, and Recognition,) HOSA has a competitive event for everyone!


Kartik’s Competitive Event Experience!

Joining HOSA-Future Health Professionals as a freshman at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was first exposed to HOSA’s competitive events program – our chapter was primarily focused on competitive events. My freshman year, I competed in Medical Spelling, a competitive event in which, during round 1, competitors take a multiple choice spelling test on important medical terms. The top competitors move on to round 2, where the competition becomes a traditional “spelldown” spelling bee; the rounds keep going on until a winner is declared. My freshman year, I placed third at North Carolina HOSA’s State Leadership Conference and fourth at the International Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. My sophomore year, I competed in the same event and placed 2nd at the International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Moreover, this past year, I competed in a new event – Prepared Speaking. This event allowed me to develop my public speaking skills by preparing a speech on a specific topic (usually HOSA’s Annual Theme) and deliver it to a panel of judges. This event is great for people who either want to polish or even improve their personal public speaking skills! All in all, my experiences in HOSA were initiated by the organization’s competitive events program, allowing me to develop as a student, leader, and future health professional!


How Competitive Events Can Help YOU!

HOSA’s competitive events are one of the main highlights of the organization, as thousands of middle school, secondary, and postsecondary/collegiate members compete in various regional and state conferences, and some qualify to compete at the annual HOSA International Leadership Conference. But even beyond the hopes of making it to ILC, participating in competitive events has so much to offer! There are an infinite amount of reasons why we encourage every HOSA member to compete; a few key reasons are listed below!

  • Skills experiences

Signing up for an event in the Emergency Preparedness or Health Professions categories provides competitors with knowledge based and/or hands-on experiences in career fields that they might want to pursue! 

  • Opportunities to Gain Professionalism

Many competitive events include a key component of HOSA, professionalism. By partaking in an event in the Leadership and Teamwork Event categories, competitors gain valuable life skills. Some of these skills include developing public speaking skills, job interview skills, teamwork skills, communication skills, and  marketing skills. Furthermore, events in the Recognition Category showcases one’s extensive volunteer and HOSA work that can give an edge when applying for internships, jobs, and other positions! Each of these events help develop professionalism and allow competitors to exhibit their creativity!


If you currently are not involved in competing, hopefully you are inspired to sign up for an event! Talk to your local advisor about when sign-ups open, as each state’s dates are different.

Competitive events are a great avenue to help you Define Your Purpose through HOSA!


Riya’s Competitive Event Experience:

Upon joining HOSA-FHP during my freshman year of high school, I wanted to expand on my public speaking skills. I decided to sign up for the Researched Persuasive Writing & Speaking event, as the health topics that the event wanted competitors to discuss were interesting and important to know about, especially for young adults. I spent months diligently preparing my essay and speech about sports injuries. However, I did not make it past the Regional round, and although I was disappointed, it did not discourage me from competing in the future. Many people advise sticking with an event for multiple years to gain more experience in the event, and although I agree, another event peaked my interest during sophomore year, so I decided to participate in Medical Reading that year. Reading each of the five books expanded my knowledge on various aspects of the healthcare field through literature. I was not even upset this year when I did not qualify for the 2016 HOSA ILC, I was simply grateful for reading the books and absorbing knowledge. For junior year, one of my best friends wanted to do a partner event with me, so we competed in CPR/First Aid! Although we were both already CPR certified, we learned a lot of information and had the opportunity to refine and be confident in our care skills! We qualified for the 2017 HOSA ILC and placed 6th! Attending ILC was a great experience, but the journey along the way shaped my great competitive event experience that equipped me with invaluable knowledge, skills, and passion for the health care field!


How to Pick a Competitive Event


Whether you already know what event you want to compete in or you are still looking at all of your options, we hope that this segment will give you a better idea of the breadth of HOSA’s Competitive Events. Use HOSA’s competitive events as a chance to explore different health career fields, develop new clinical skills, and even expand your leadership capacity. No matter what your interests are, HOSA has a competitive event for you!

Here at HOSA, we have 6 different competitive event categories: Health Science, Health Professions, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, Teamwork, and Recognition Events. Health Science events consist of exams which test your knowledge on health topics such as Medical Terminology, Medical Law and Ethics, and even Pathophysiology. If you are interested in preparing for clinical tasks you may encounter in the healthcare field, Health Professions events are perfect for you. By competing in a Health Professions event, you are able to enhance your clinical skill set, enabling you to learn skills such as taping for sports medicine or how to take a blood pressure. Similar to the Health Professions category, the Emergency Preparedness category also allows you to showcase clinical skills such as CERT Skills or CPR/First Aid, all while preparing you for an emergency! Leadership events provide an outlet for you to practice and be tested on soft skills and showcase your creativity; events include Prepared Speaking, Job Seeking Skills, Extemporaneous Writing, and Extemporaneous Health Poster. Teamwork events enable you to work with others to innovate new ideas through the Medical Innovation event or even interact directly with other competitors with events such as HOSA Bowl and Biomedical Debate. Unlike the other categories, within the Recognition Event category, you are able to participate in as many events as you would like. In this category you are able to be recognized for community service, engagement with the HOSA Service Project (National Pediatric Cancer Foundation), knowledge of current health issues, or even your chapter’s HOSA involvement!

Now that you know a little more about the competitive event categories available to you, follow this flowchart to help determine which competitive event you may be interested in!