1.    Analyze opportunities and advantages of using technology in the Health Science Technology Education (HSTE) Classroom and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) chapter.

2.     Describe parts of the computer.

3.     Use technology tools in the classroom or HOSA chapter.

Introduction to Computers

Computers are essential equipment in all aspects of health care.  All future health care professionals must be computer literate to function effectively in the technological world of health care delivery.

Are you technophobic? Do you suffer from computerphobia? Check out this website to find out what it is and how to overcome technophobia .



Computers have impacted Health Science Technology Education and HOSA.  Students must learn to use technology tools to enhance learning opportunities in school and to be competitive in the workplace.  The Health Science teacher and HOSA advisor must set an example by embracing the use of technology with a sense of healthy curiosity and respect. 

Before using technology in the classroom and HOSA, Health Science teachers should become familiar with important computer concepts and equipment.  Read the following material to develop the background for this module:

Web Sites

Technophobia and Technostress




Technology Grants


LCD Projector Buyer’s Guide


Digital Photography


Optional Text Reading

Burke, Lillian and Barbara Weill. Information Technology for the Health Professions. Prentice-Hall Inc., 2000.

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Information Technology and Computer Literacy
  • Chapter 2: Hardware and Software

For accurate, up-to-date information about personal computers (or terminology related to technology) visit PCwebopedia:

Computers – Yesterday

Before microchips, computers were huge.  Early computers were difficult to use and often required the user to understand a language that only the computer understood.  Computers were expensive, functionally limited, and required a well-trained user. 

Computers – Today

Today’s computers are cheaper, faster, user friendly, and plentiful.  Computers process information rapidly and easily.  Computers have become “user friendly” – meaning that users can learn most programs quickly.  Computers allow health care professionals to save time, decrease errors and eliminate duplication of effort.

Computers are everywhere in the health care professions.  As the healthcare workplace changes, so must the methods used by Health Science instructors for teaching  and advising students in the HOSA chapter.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) relates to the use of computer technology to store, manipulate, analyze and use information in an electronic environment.  Information technology is changing the delivery of health care.

Computer Terminology

This quick and easy introduction will familiarize you with basic computer technology. Take a minute to review the following terminology associated with computer use:




In terms of storage space (memory) a byte can be considered to be the size of a character. 

Kilobyte – Approximately 1,000 bytes.  A kilobyte can store up to   1,000 characters of information.

Megabyte – Approximately 1 million bytes.  A megabyte can store up to 1 million characters of information.

Gigabyte – Approximately 1 billion bytes.  A gigabyte can store up to 1 billion characters of information.

CD-ROM Drive

The CD-ROM drive gets information on and off a CD-ROM.

Burner –A special type of CD-ROM that allows information and data to be copied to a CD-ROM disk.

CPU – Central Processing Unit

The “brains” of the computer, sometimes called a tower, which contains the microprocessor.  This is the large part of the computer that contains the hard drive, CD-ROM drives, floppy drive, and places to plug in peripherals (mouse, printer, keyboard, etc.)

Disk Drive

The disk drive allows information to be extracted or added to a floppy disk.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the C: drive in most computers.  It is located in the CPU and never seen.  The hard drive is the place a computer stores programs and data files used and created by the computer.


The parts of the computer you can see or touch, such as the CPU, keyboard, monitor, hard drive, disk drive and the printer.  The amount, type and appearance of computer hardware vary depending on the use and design of the computer.

Most classroom computers today are either MacIntosh or IBM PC compatible.  HOSA uses IBM PC compatible hardware.


The keyboard contains keys that resemble a typewriter and allows for information to be entered into the computer.  Keyboards are an “input device” because they allow information to be added to file storage.


The term megahertz identifies CPU clock speed.  Megahertz determines how fast the computer processes data. Computers are measured by how many millions of instructions per second they can execute.  For example a computer, which has a clock speed of 500MHz, can process 500 million bits of data within one second.


Information is stored temporarily in “memory” to allow the CPU to accomplish various tasks.  Memory is measured in terms of Megabytes.  There are two types of memory - RAM (Random Access Memory) and ROM (Read Only Memory)


A monitor is a display unit that resembles a TV screen.  It allows the user to see what is happening inside the computer.


The mouse is an electronic pointer.  This device allows the user to point to a word, picture or specific spot on the screen and double click to select that spot or place something there.  A mouse is plugged into the CPU or the device may be wireless.  Today’s optical mouse uses laser technology and works on most surfaces.


The printer records information from the computer onto paper. (hard copy)  Most printers today are laser printers and Bubble Jet or Inkjet.  Laser printers use an internal laser and usually produce a high quality copy.  Laser printers print in black and/or color.  Bubble Jet or Inkjet printers usually print it both black and color.


Random Access Memory (RAM) is temporary space which can be changed or erased.  RAM is the onboard memory that the CPU uses to store information temporarily.  When the computer is turned off, RAM is completely erased. 


Read Only Memory (ROM) is permanent memory that cannot be erased, whether or not the computer is turned off or on.  The information stored in ROM can be read but not updated.


Computer programs and applications that direct the computer to perform specific functions.  Most HOSA documents sent to HOSA chapters use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or Publisher.


A scanner is similar to a copying machine allowing the computer to create digital images of text, graphics or pictures.  A scanner is also an “input device.”

Web Cam

A Web Cam is a camera that sends digital images back to a computer of whatever is in the camera’s view.  Web Cams can be used for teleconferencing or surveillance.


For a complete listing of terms used in this course, visit:




Go to the Assignments page for a listing of assignments for Module 1!

The Health Science teacher and HOSA Advisor are encouraged to secure the latest technology tools to enhance classroom instruction and handle administrative responsibilities.  There are normally funds from local or state funds to purchase technology tools.

When school funds are not available, technology or education grants are plentiful.  Visit: http://www.freegovmoney.net/research_technology_grants.htm

The following technology tools are recommended:

Student PCs – Desktop computers that students use for classroom assignments, HOSA information and research.  Computers should have Internet access.  Five computers per Health Science classroom is a minimum.  Access to a computer lab that allows one computer per student is strongly recommended.

Teacher PC – Schools may provide teachers with a laptop computer.  Regardless of the type of computer, computers should have Internet access and student data management software.  The computer should be password protected, allowing the teacher to maintain confidential files (grades) and e-mail on the computer.

DVD Player and Monitor – A DVD (digital video disk) looks like a CD but contains video images.  Most instructional media is delivered via DVD.  New laptops and table top computers are equipped with a CD/DVD player.

LCD Projector (Digital Projector) – A projector that connects to a computer or DVD player and uses different types of light technology to project a computer image on a screen.  For more information on LCD Projectors, visit http://www.buyerzone.com/computers/lcd_projectors/buyers_guide3.html

Digital Camera – A digital camera is essential for promoting HSTE and HOSA, and is increasingly becoming a valuable instructional tool.  Much of what you need to know about buying and using a digital camera can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/digitalphotography/getstarted/default.asp

Next, let's go to the Module 2!


National HOSA
6021 Morriss Road, Suite 111
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Phone: (800) 321-HOSA
Fax: (972) 874-0063

Activities and procedures within Health Occupations Students of America are governed by the philosophy of simple fairness to all. Therefore, the policy of National HOSA is that all operations will be performed without regard to race, sex, color, national origin or handicap. HOSA is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.