Julie Abbott, Utah HOSA President
Buffy Blunck, Riverton High School HOSA Advisor
Cynthia Cox, Bingham High School HOSA Advisor
Trudy Pecorelli, Riverton High School HOSA Advisor
Inakhshmi Rashid, Utah Alumni Vice President
Note: Julie, Buffy, Cynthia, Trudy, and Inakhshmi Rashid received professional development funding from the NNLM MCR to attend MCMLA 2019 in Omaha, NE.
HOSA Future Health Professionals, better known as HOSA, is a student-led curriculum based organization. HOSA provides amazing opportunities for students attending middle school, high school and then continues into undergraduate level degrees. The partnership continues for our healthcare alumni. HOSA is an international organization currently in 49 states and countries including Canada, Puerto Rico, and China. HOSA offers career awareness by having guest speakers, field trips and internships. HOSA sponsors 58 different competitions which help the participants improve their knowledge and skills. Participating in chapter activities, conferences and competitions allow students to network and learn new skills. When students place at state competition, they have the opportunity to participate in the International Leadership Conference and competitions. There is a place for every student in HOSA. HOSA also focuses on giving back to the community. Our current national Service Project is the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. HOSA is a fun way to get involved, while helping students build incredible networking opportunities and it looks amazing on a resume.
As teachers, we found that students were creating projects for our classes using sources such as Google, WebMD and Wikipedia. These sites were not offering students the depth of knowledge that we were looking for. Students were also discovering that much of the content they were looking for online was blocked by district filters, thus leaving the students to do their research at home.
In the Fall of 2015, Utah HOSA partnered with the NNLM MCR at the University of Utah and the National Library of Medicine to incorporate the tools found on www.medlineplus.gov into our classrooms. As students began using this resource, it became evident that we needed to spread the word and let more students and teachers know about this resource. We started by developing a series of lesson plans that teachers can share with students to improve their medical literacy skills and help them identify credible sources online. Ultimately, we have created a level 1 nearpod lesson that walks students through the resources on MedlinePlus. It is created in an “I do, we do, you do” format. Completion of the nearpod with 90% accuracy gives the students a Level 1 National Library of Medicine Ambassador Certificate that is presented to them at state competition. Upon completion of Level 1, students can collaborate with a partner in a deck.toys digital escape room activity in which they are given puzzles that are solved with content located on medlineplus.gov. Upon successful completion of the deck.toys activity, students are awarded a Level 2 National Library of Medicine Ambassador Certificate.
We have rolled out this program across the state of Utah and in various states across the country, through hands-on presentations at multiple leadership conferences. We have found that students are actively using this site in their classroom assignments and research projects and are incorporating up-to-date and peer reviewed information.
The program has made an impact on a variety of students, ranging from high school to college students. In college, students are held to a higher standard when it comes to the validity of their research, so knowing reliable skills to find such information is crucial to them doing well. Medline plus in particular is a great resource, as it is relatively simple to use, and has a wide variety of subjects and source material relevant to the needs of University students. Pre-med students in particular find it useful for classes like anatomy, or for researching on various projects.
The highlight of our attendance at the MCMLA conference was the realization that librarians are a hidden gem in our high schools and universities. We thank you for your hospitality, kindness and for inspiring us to direct our students towards the library.