RT Students Sell the Profession at HOSA Conference
June 28, 2011
Respiratory therapy faculty and students from Orange Coast College (OCC) in Costa Mesa, CA, served as ambassadors of good will at last week’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) conference in Anaheim, CA, making sure high school students who are already interested in joining a health care profession know what respiratory care has to offer.
OCC Program Director Dan Adelmann, MS, RRT, recruited several of his students to come out for the event, including Leah Winter, Christine Haughey, Charity Wilcox-Smith, Alisha Francis, Aaron Reid, and Ali Touzani. Clinical Director Dan Farrell, RRT-NPS, CPFT, was on hand as well.
“Many of the HOSA students were not aware of respiratory care and the career opportunities,” says the educator. “The OCC students thoroughly enjoyed being able to share their knowledge and experiences with the high school students.”
Adelmann says the students used the opportunity to explain what RTs do on the job. They also shared their own personal experiences with the profession so far and used adult and infant intubation manikins with ET tubes and resuscitation bags to show how an artificial airway is used for ventilation.
The group brought several pulse oximeters along too and the OCC students performed pulse oximetry on almost every student who came by, then explained how oxygenation and pulse are related to their health and pulmonary disease.
“The table also had a continuously running PowerPoint presentation on a tablet computer that the participants could watch,” says Adelmann. Brochures and information sheets provided by the AARC were available as well, along with paperclip handouts that were a big hit with the HOSA students.
A number of high school counselors visited the booth too and Adelmann says they expressed a great interest in learning more about the profession. “We provided them with the AARC brochure, highlighting the AARC website as the best source for career information,” he says. “We made sure they knew about the career/student section of the website.”
Since Adelmann serves as an academic counselor at OCC, he was also able to discuss areas of general education, transfer, and program requirements on a counselor-to-counselor basis, ensuring the high school counselors got exactly the kind of information they were looking for.
The OCC students accomplished much the same goal with the high school students. “The OCC students were able to share on a student-to-student basis the type of information that goes into making a serious career choice and why they chose respiratory care,” says Adelmann. “The HOSA students were very interested to learn about a career field that they were not familiar with.”