In 2018, health care created 346,000 new jobs, but even with those numbers experts say there’s still a huge demand for workers.
In an effort to help fill the demand, a health care career conference took place today with over 700 students from across the state.
Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is a huge decision, and it’s not always easy.
“That’s a good question. Something health care. I know I’m interested in biology very much so. I’m thinking rural physician, rural health care,“ Mariah Block said.
To help narrow down her decision, Watertown High School senior Mariah Block is taking part in her third HOSA conference.
“HOSA-Future Health Professionals is a CTSO organization, basically focused on nurturing and encouraging high school students who are interested in the health career pathway,“ Brock Rops said.
South Dakota HOSA state advisor Brock Rops says the conference gives students an idea of what careers are available in health care.
“It ranges from presentation and project based events to actual skill events like clinical nursing, nursing assisting, home health aide, vet science,“ Rops said.
Brandon Valley High School senior Jessica Glen is attending for the fourth time.
“Since middle school I’ve known I wanted to help people for the rest of my life, and so I knew I wanted to get into HOSA as much as I could,“ Glen said.
Glen says getting this education ahead of college is crucial, and one day hopes to become a pediatric oncologist.
“It gives you the experience to actually speak with medical professionals. They help prepare you for your future,“ Glen said.
“I’ve done stuff in research, I’ve done stuff in medical terminology just to really test out some different things,“ Block said.
Aside from learning about health care students are also getting the opportunity to better their leadership skills.
“It strengthened my leadership qualities. As a freshman I did not think I could do this. I didn’t even consider running because the thought of being a leader and inspiring others kind of scared me at the time,“ Glen said.
And now, with a big thanks to this conference, Glen will be attending college to chase after her dream in medicine.
To learn more about the HOSA conference, click here.