From dressing like a nerd to helping save lives by giving blood, Farmington High School kicked off its first HOSA week on Nov. 2 to help generate interest in the science and medical field.
“National HOSA week is typically held during the first week of November,” said Courtney McIntyre, one of the co-advisor of the high school program. “Last week was about trying to grow our program and letting people become aware of HOSA, let our students get involve with the community and spread the new about our programs.”
According to McIntyre, HOSA is an organization offered to high school students who are a part of the bio-medical program or the Certified Nursing Assistant program. The program allows students to explore medicine and familiarize themselves with concepts in physiology, genetics, microbiology and public health.
During the week, the students participated in spirit week days that included several dress up days including “dress like a nerd day,” “dress like your future profession day” and “dress like your favorite periodic element or college wear day.”
“We decided to do spirit days to get our kids more excited about HOSA week,” McIntyre said. “All of our HOSA officers met and came up with the spirit days.”
In addition to dressing up for spirit week, students also participated in medical-based trivia and other activities
To wrap up HOSA week at the local high school, the American Red Cross held a blood drive on Nov. 6 in the school’s gym.
“It was a fantastic day,” said Lisa Denman, Health Science instructor and co-advisor of Farmington HOSA. “We had set of goal of collecting 68 units and we collected 70.”
According to the American Red Cross, for every unit of blood donated, it will go to help saving the life three people.
“Our students, staff and members of the members of the community donated 70 viable units today, which can be used to save the lives of as many as 210 people,” said Dr. Nathan Hostetler, the school principal. “We are proud of a lot of what happens at FHS, but this is the sort of thing that can impact peoples’ lives in ways we can never anticipate.”
According to David Chambers with the American Red Cross, this year’s blood drive utilized a process of collecting blood, called the Alyx Component Collection System, the that allows them to draw double the amount of red blood cells than the normal whole blood donation.
Rather than collecting the blood directly into a blood bag, the donor’s blood first flows into the Alyx machine, which separates the blood’s components. Red blood cells are collected in a blood bag, and the remaining components are returned to the donor. The donor also receives a small amount of sterile saline fluid to make up for the blood volume loss.
Although HOSA Week ended with the blood drive, this was not the first blood drive the school sponsored. In fact, the school has a long history of working with the Red Cross and holding blood drives, typically one in the fall and the other in spring.
“FHS has always had a good partnership with the American Red Cross that goes back to 1992 when Dave Waters was principal,” Denman said. “We usually hold one in the spring and the fall.”
Denman added that the school usually does a bit better in donating blood in the spring than the fall, but this year was hampered by the several school events such as a football game, soccer game and cheerleading competition.
“This has been a wonderful event for us,” Denman said. “We have had a great sponsorship with the Red Cross since 1992.”
Craig Vaughn is a reporter for the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3629 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.