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TCHS students place first and second in state competition

West Grove, PA – Two Chester County Technical College HighSchool (TCHS) students are headed to national TCHS HOSAcompetition after placing firstand second at the Pennsylvania State Health Occupations Students of America(HOSA) competition. Rachael Mendenhall, a 12th grade student atOctorara High School, received a first place medal in medical assisting, andJenn Larkin, an 11th grade student at Avon Grove High School, placedsecond in extemporaneous writing.

The competition, held at the Lancaster Host Resort &Conference Center in early March, gathered students from across Pennsylvaniawho are interested in healthcare careers to showcase their knowledge and skillsacquired in career and technical education. With their first and second placewins, both Mendenhall and Larkin are eligible to move on to the nationalcompetition, June 22 to 25, 2011 in Anaheim, California.

“Students are selected to attend the competition by theirHOSA chapter advisor based on their success in their health care program andtheir competitive abilities,” said Anne Marie McCauley, RN, MS, HealthOccupations instructor for TCHS. “They are students that have shownprofessional maturity and are focused on their goals to achieve successfulcareers in health care.”

Mendenhall, a health occupations student at TCHS, competedin medical assisting, which consisted of two components:  written and hands-on.

“The competition started off with a 50-question writtentest,” said Mendenhall. “From there, the top scorers moved on to the hands-onportion that included a display of four skills.”

According to Mendenhall, she had to demonstrate thefollowing: obtaining medical history, patient positioning, sterile gloving, andautoclaving (equipment sterilization).

Larkin, a Health Career Academy student at TCHS, competed inextemporaneous writing.

“Prior to the competition, we were unaware of the promptsfor the writing,” said Larkin. “We were allowed to use a medical dictionary, aregular dictionary, and a thesaurus, and were given up to one hour to completeour writing.”

According to Larkin, the topics that were required to beintegrated into the writing included: explaining the difference HOSA has madein the community; highlighting the importance of community service to her HOSAchapter; and, explaining the personal importance of community service.

“Becoming a member of HOSA allows the student to becomeinvolved at a local, regional and national level in community service,leadership, scholarship and competition,” said McCauley. “It also gives astudent the opportunity to network with other health care students from aroundthe United States at both the secondary and post secondary levels.”

The Health Career Academy at TCHS is an innovative program thatestablishes a financially rewarding career path to various high-priority healthcareers. It prepares students for dual-enrollment in Delaware County CommunityCollege or Chester County Intermediate Unit nursing programs, as well asvarious careers in the nursing field.

The Health Occupations program allows students to explorevarious areas of health care in order to be able to make their transition intothe post-secondary world. Students also have the opportunity to receivecertification in CPR/AED.

For more information on Health Occupations and the HealthCareer Academy, or any of the programs at the Chester County Technical CollegeHigh School, please click here or

According to its web site, HOSA is a national studentorganization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in the healthcare industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.For more information on Pennsylvania HOSA, click here.

Photo caption: Two Chester County Technical College HighSchool (TCHS) students recently placed at the Pennsylvania State HealthOccupations Students of America (HOSA) competition. Pictured above (from left toright) is first place winner in medical assisting, Rachael Mendenhall, who is a12th grade student at Octorara High School, and second place winnerin extemporaneous writing, Jenn Larkin, who is an 11th grade studentat Avon Grove High School.  Bothstudents will now advance to the national competition in June.