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Two-day health careers competition taking place on campus

An estimated 300 students from across Kansas are gathered at Pittsburg State today and tomorrow for the annual Kansas HOSA conference and competition, an event especially for students who have their sights set on health-related occupations. 

It's the third year for Pittsburg State to host the event, which is drawing schools from as far away as Salina and Tonganoxie and as near as Riverton, Columbus, Parsons, Coffeyville, and Parsons. Partnering on the event is Pittsburg State's Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing, where several of the competitions will take place in the simulated lab. The remainder of the competitions will take place in the Overman Student Center. 

HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education Division of Association for Career and Technical Education.  

HOSA, which began in 1976 and now is international, has a two-fold mission: to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people. The organization purports that the rapidly changing health care system needs dedicated workers who, in addition to their technical skills, are people-oriented and capable of playing a leadership or followership role as a member of a health care team. 

Throughout the two days, students will compete in and will present projects to be judged in forensic science, genetics, nursing, emergency medical sciences, psychology, physical therapy, and a range of other health-related areas. Some students have been preparing for months. 

"I got involved in HOSA my freshman year, because I knew I wanted to go into something health related but wanted to explore all the careers before picking," said Ivan Castillo, a senior from Wichita North. "This is a great way for students to consider options in a field that is very diverse." 

Judges for the competitions will be area professionals in health-related careers. 

The event kicked off today with a keynote speaker, and from noon to 3:30 p.m. will feature a career fair to be attended by representatives from the region's hospitals, medical centers, and other health-care providers. Competitions will be held throughout the day today and tomorrow, when statewide awards will be presented. Winners will have the chance to compete at nationals in Dallas this summer. 


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