Category II events are designed to promote skill development
and career understanding in Health Science Technology Education students.
HOSA offers an extensive skill events program. The program is designed
to be sensitive to the career goals of HSTE students and the needs of
the health care community. With the addition of the Clinical Specialty
event in 2001, HOSA provides a skill development opportunity for ALL health
HOSA skill events share a common purpose in a variety of formats:
- Two skill events, CPR/First Aid and EMT, are also team events, requiring
the competitors to work in pairs to provide emergency medical care.
- Two skill events, First Aid/Rescue Breathing and Personal Care,
are designed for special needs students. While the performance standards
are the same as all other skill events, students in special needs events
only compete against other special needs students.
- Most skill events are career specific, such as Sports Medicine,
Physical Therapy, and Practical Nursing. HOSA offers 13 career-specific
- Clinical Specialty is designed to provide a skill event opportunity
for health careers not addressed in other skill events.
Skill Event Guidelines
We know that different states, facilities, organizations and authors
may differ on specific skill requirements. For example, the American
Red Cross rules for CPR may be somewhat different from the rules published
by the American Heart Association. Or, a specific hospital may have hand
hygiene rules that are not identical to those recommended by the CDC.
HOSA operates a National program and must be sensitive to differences
in skill procedures. In order to provide consistency for HOSA members,
the Category II guidelines set the standards for how students will be
judged on a specific skill. Does HOSA believe that the steps in the guidelines
are the only way the skill can be done?
What we do believe is that students have the right to know the standards
to which they will be held accountable. In order to provide students
with that type of specificity, HOSA selects a resource for each skill,
creates the procedure in the guidelines to match that resource, and asks
judges to use the guidelines in evaluating student performance.
HOSA does not believe that one specific text resource is better than
another. We do believe that it helps students to know the source of steps
in a specific procedure, which is why a resource is selected and published
in event guidelines.
HOSA skill events are managed by the National Competitive Events program
staff. These volunteers represent a number of states and include HOSA
members, classroom teachers, state HOSA advisors, and industry professionals.
The membership of the competitive events program staff rotates annually,
creating a constant flow of new ideas and opportunities for all states
to be involved.
What About the Test?
With the exception of Clinical
Specialty, Personal Care, and First Aid/Rescue Breathing, all HOSA
skill events include a written test. At the national level, the written
test is used to qualify competitors for the skill performance.
There are many reasons for including a Round One test, including:
- Tests mirror the industry. Most
health professions use testing to qualify a candidate for certification
or licensure. HOSA strives to model professional standards by requiring
that students demonstrate an understanding of the skills in addition
to being able to perform the skills in a Category II event.
- Testing raises the bar. HOSA
believes that students who must take a test in order to qualify for
Round Two will work harder and study more than students who do not
have a test. For that reason, testing raises the learning value of
- There is a correlation
between test scores and skill scores.
For years, HOSA gathered evidence by comparing skill scores
to test scores. We found that, consistently, students who are highly
skilled are also knowledgeable. Students who performed very poorly
on skills also performed poorly on the tests.
At the national level,
this fact created a nightmare with judges. On occasion, judges were being asked
to evaluate a student who had little to no skill at all. The judges were appalled,
and quite frankly, so were we.
While Round One qualifying does not guarantee that all students who
make it to Round Two can do the skills, it has improved the percentage
of skilled students who are judged.
Skill Event Standards
HOSA uses a 70% rule in national competitive events skills and encourages
chapter advisors to use the same standard (or higher) in classroom skill
The 70% rule means that competitors
must score at least 70% of the total possible score for a skill (or
combined skills) in order to be recognized in National Competition.
For example, let’s assume a
student in Nursing Assisting is going to Make an Occupied bed and then
Measure and Record Vital Signs.
Make an Occupied Bed
Measure and Record Vital Signs
In order for a student to earn finalist honors or a medal in this event,
he or she must score a 117 or higher on the skills.
What about the test score? The
test score does NOT count in the 70% rule. Seventy percent is not the
passing standard with many large scale tests, such as the NCLEX, the
national nursing licensure exam, as well as many state “end-of-course” tests.
In HOSA, the passing standard varies from test to test, based on the
nature of the test and other factors. Many factors are considered, including
the nature of the content, scope of content assessed, program variability
from state to state and amount of time lapse between program completion
and testing. Through this process, the passing standard maintains currency
Skill Event Location
At the HOSA National Leadership Conference, many skill events are conducted
at clinical sites in the local community. This process allows students
an opportunity to use the best equipment available in a setting that
is realistic and challenging.
When equipment necessary to an event can be effectively transported
to the convention hotel, then those events are held on the hotel property.
HOSA skill events are praised by our health care community partners
who believe in the value-added education HOSA offers through our National
Competitive Events Program. When Assistant Secretary of Labor, the Honorable
Emily DeRocco, visited the HOSA National Leadership Conference in 2003,
she was most impressed with the skills demonstrated by students in Category
II events, and challenged all HOSA members to take advantage of the opportunity
to participate in HOSA skill events.