2019-Winter-Edition 0-1 - HOSA

2019-Winter-Edition 0-1 - HOSA (PDF)

2019 • 26 Pages • 16.24 MB • English
Posted July 01, 2022 • Submitted by Superman

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Summary of 2019-Winter-Edition 0-1 - HOSA

1 achieve your DREAMS live a meaningful life find your courage accomplish your goals courage find your PASSION develop yourself 2 YOUR CHAPTER Empowering In the New Year If you asked the 65% of people who broke their New Year’s resolutions in 2018 “why” they think they weren’t successful, most would attribute it to lack of motivation. This lack of motivation can actually be attributed to many things not getting done, not just those New Year’s resolutions we make with such hope and excitement for the new year. Going back to school after the holiday break often means finding a renewed passion and excitement for academics, school activities, and our HOSA involvement. Your chapter’s Program of Work (POW) was completed at the beginning of the school year and these HOSA resolutions are still full of goals, action steps, and outcomes that we are resolute to accomplish. The new year is the perfect time to not only review your POW, but also the perfect time to jump start your excitement for the new year and inspire and motivate the members in your HOSA chapter! The key to success in completing those goals and plans within your HOSA chapter is to motivate others by empowering them to work hard towards the shared vision that is outlined in your POW. HOSA members that are motivated and engaged by the leadership of the organization will be more connected to the organization. So, how do you motivate those HOSA chapter members to renew their passion and continue to do great work? Check out these tips for motivating, empowering, and inspiring your chapter! 3 EMPOWER MEMBERS! Provide opportunities for members to make a real contribution to the chapter. Review the POW and locate ways for members to accomplish task by making sure that the things they are doing match with their skills and interest. Also, make sure members who are interested in learning new skills are involved in tasks and projects that expand their leadership skill set. HOSA members who are empowered feel connected to the chapter and are more likely to want to continue to contribute. INCLUDE THEM! Often, when reviewing the POW, there are goals and/or action steps that need to be adjusted. Be sure to include members when discussing those changes, particularly if it is something that affects the entire chapter. They can often bring a new perspective, idea, or rational for the change that is needed. It also shows that the vision for the chapter is not created by a few select officers, but rather that the members have a voice in what is happening in the goals and outcomes of the chapter. COMMUNICATE! Keeping members in the loop concerning what is going on in the chapter and organizations makes them feel connected and important. It is a communication fact that if people don’t have enough or any information, they will create information to fill the gaps. If members don’t know what is going on, you will get negativity and skepticism, as opposed to interest and positive energy. ACTIVELY LISTEN! Members want to be heard, so be sure to take time to really listen to what they are saying. If members feel like they have a voice, they are more motivated to make contributions to the organization. Listen to new ideas and ways of doing things. Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to make adjustments to the POW to ensure success! BUILD TRUST! Do what you say you are going to do – and do it well. Chapter members are watching to make sure your words align with your actions. Lack of integrity, being unethical, forming cliques, playing favorites, etc. doesn’t inspire or motivate anyone. It alienates, causes alliances to form, and destroys trust and motivation. SHOW YOUR COMMITTMENT! Make sure your commitment to your HOSA chapter shows in your words and actions. If you provide your HOSA chapter with commitment, excitement, and motivation, they will reciprocate the effort. And remember, motivated and empowered members create the strongest and most active HOSA chapters! 4 Have you heard the news?! The HOSA Executive Council launched a new HOSA Blog for this school year! The HOSA Blog will feature updates from the Executive Council, special guest blogs from HOSA members and alumni, information about upcoming HOSA events, spotlights on health careers and opportunities, as well as local and state chapter activities. If you are interested in submitting a blog entry, please feel free to contact an Executive Council Member. Check out the entire blog at hosa.org/hosablog. STORIES FROM THE BLOG: We know your HOSA year has been off to a terrific start and we want to use our first HOSA Blog to share a little bit about HOSA’s Competitive Events Program! After reading this blog you will: • Learn about HOSA’s Specialized Competitive Events (CE) Program • Read CE Experiences from 2 Executive Council Members • See how CE can help you as a Future Health Professional • Decide which CE is right for you and your interests HOSA’S COMPETITIVE EVENTS PROGRAM HOSA-Future Health Professionals’ Competitive Events Program is designed to motivate HOSA members and provide a system for recognizing the competencies developed by members through Health Science and Biomedical Science class instruction, related job training, and HOSA related activities. Competitive events are designed to motivate HOSA members to improve their knowledge and skills. HOSA does not provide competition for competition's sake. HOSA provides a national competitive events program as a means of recognizing those students who are willing to pursue excellence by preparing for competition and having the determination to attend a conference and participate in a competitive event. With six categories of competitive events (Health Science, Health Professions, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, Teamwork, and Recognition,) HOSA has a competitive event for everyone! KARTIK’S COMPETITIVE EVENT EXPERIENCE! Joining HOSA-Future Health Professionals as a freshman at Enloe High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, I was first exposed to HOSA’s competitive events program - our chapter was primarily focused on competitive events. My freshman year, I competed in Medical Spelling, a competitive event in which, during round 1, competitors take a multiple-choice spelling test on important medical terms. The top competitors move on to round 2, where the competition becomes a traditional “spelldown” spelling bee; the rounds keep going on until a winner is declared. My freshman year, I placed third at North Carolina HOSA’s State Leadership Conference and fourth at the International Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. My sophomore year, I competed in the same event and placed 2nd at the International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Moreover, this past year, I competed in a new event - Prepared Speaking. This event allowed me to develop my public speaking skills by preparing a speech on a specific topic (usually HOSA’s Annual Theme) and deliver it to a panel of judges. This event is great for people who either want to polish or even improve their personal public speaking skills! All in all, my experiences in HOSA were initiated by the organization’s competitive events program, allowing me to develop as a student, leader, and future health professional! HOSA BLOG 5 HOW COMPETITIVE EVENTS CAN HELP YOU! HOSA’s competitive events are one of the main highlights of the organization, as thousands of middle school, secondary, and postsecondary/collegiate members compete in various regional and state conferences, and some qualify to compete at the annual HOSA International Leadership Conference. But even beyond the hopes of making it to ILC, participating in competitive events has so much to offer! There are an infinite amount of reasons why we encourage every HOSA member to compete; a few key reasons are listed below! • Skills experiences Signing up for an event in the Emergency Preparedness or Health Professions categories provides competitors with knowledge based and/or hands-on experiences in career fields that they might want to pursue! • Opportunities to Gain Professionalism Many competitive events include a key component of HOSA, professionalism. By partaking in an event in the Leadership and Teamwork Event categories, competitors gain valuable life skills. Some of these skills include developing public speaking skills, job interview skills, teamwork skills, communication skills, and marketing skills. Furthermore, events in the Recognition Category showcases one’s extensive volunteer and HOSA work that can give an edge when applying for internships, jobs, and other positions! Each of these events help develop professionalism and allow competitors to exhibit their creativity! If you currently are not involved in competing, hopefully you are inspired to sign up for an event! Talk to your local advisor about when sign-ups open, as each state’s dates are different. Competitive events are a great avenue to help you Define Your Purpose through HOSA! RIYA’S COMPETITIVE EVENT EXPERIENCE: Upon joining HOSA-FHP during my freshman year of high school, I wanted to expand on my public speaking skills. I decided to sign up for the Researched Persuasive Writing & Speaking event, as the health topics that the event wanted competitors to discuss were interesting and important to know about, especially for young adults. I spent months diligently preparing my essay and speech about sports injuries. However, I did not make it past the Regional round, and although I was disappointed, it did not discourage me from competing in the future. Many people advise sticking with an event for multiple years to gain more experience in the event, and although I agree, another event peaked my interest during sophomore year, so I decided to participate in Medical Reading that year. Reading each of the five books expanded my knowledge on various aspects of the healthcare field through literature. I was not even upset this year when I did not qualify for the 2016 HOSA ILC, I was simply grateful for reading the books and absorbing knowledge. For junior year, one of my best friends wanted to do a partner event with me, so we competed in CPR/ First Aid! Although we were both already CPR certified, we learned a lot of information and had the opportunity to refine and be confident in our care skills! We qualified for the 2017 HOSA ILC and placed 6th! Attending ILC was a great experience, but the journey along the way shaped my great competitive event experience that equipped me with invaluable knowledge, skills, and passion for the health care field! HOW TO PICK A COMPETITIVE EVENT Whether you already know what event you want to compete in or you are still looking at all of your options, we hope that this segment will give you a better idea of the breadth of HOSA’s Competitive Events. Use HOSA’s competitive events as a chance to explore different health career fields, develop new clinical skills, and even expand your leadership capacity. No matter what your interests are, HOSA has a competitive event for you! 6 Here at HOSA, we have 6 different competitive event categories: Health Science, Health Professions, Emergency Preparedness, Leadership, Teamwork, and Recognition Events. Health Science events consist of exams which test your knowledge on health topics such as Medical Terminology, Medical Law and Ethics, and even Pathophysiology. If you are interested in preparing for clinical tasks you may encounter in the healthcare field, Health Professions events are perfect for you. By competing in a Health Professions event, you are able to enhance your clinical skill set, enabling you to learn skills such as taping for sports medicine or how to take a blood pressure. Similar to the Health Professions category, the Emergency Preparedness category also allows you to showcase clinical skills such as CERT Skills or CPR/First Aid, all while preparing you for an emergency! Leadership events provide an outlet for you to practice and be tested on soft skills and showcase your creativity; events include Prepared Speaking, Job Seeking Skills, Extemporaneous Writing, and Extemporaneous Health Poster. Teamwork events enable you to work with others to innovate new ideas through the Medical Innovation event or even interact directly with other competitors with events such as HOSA Bowl and Biomedical Debate. Unlike the other categories, within the Recognition Event category, you are able to participate in as many events as you would like. In this category you are able to be recognized for community service, engagement with the HOSA Service Project (National Pediatric Cancer Foundation), knowledge of current health issues, or even your chapter’s HOSA involvement! Now that you know a little more about the competitive event categories available to you, follow this flowchart to help determine which competitive event you may be interested in! 7 Of all the topics about which I’ve written so far, none has been as dreaded as this. Students in middle and high school receive countless opinions on how they should decide what they want to do “when they grow up.” The stress of choosing a career path is substantial and many times overwhelming. I, too, have an opinion, and so I will share it with you today. There is both a long and a short version of my advice for you going into such a crucial decision. The short version isn’t what you’ll hear most often: that would be to “follow your dreams.” That’s a great saying (and pretty good advice), but I think it’s too broad to be of practical use here. Dreams change (and thus so do majors). My advice, on the other hand, should apply to nearly every situation. I recommend only that you… Take your time. That’s the short version. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, but you’ve read this far, so let’s go ahead and unpack it into the long version. There are three main categories of student that I met during my time in HOSA. My advice for each of the three categories will remain the same. Select which one fits you best! A. You know exactly what you want to do. B. You know you want to go into health (or another general field), but don’t know exactly what you want to do. C. You have no idea what you want to do. My advice if you selected option A is to… Take your time. You may have known since you were 5 years old that you want to be a phlebotomist, but in doing so you have likely neglected considering any other profession in the 10 years since. Have you changed in those 10 years? Do you think you’ll change in the next 10? 30? 50? I don’t mean to scare you or change your mind regarding what you want to do, but as with any decision of such magnitude, I urge you to place your goal under scrutiny. Play devil’s advocate with yourself and make sure you can defend the decision you’ve made (all the best decisions can be well-defended!) Don’t fall into the trap of continuing down a path that’s wrong for you just because everyone now expects it of you. Take your time, enjoy the road toward where you want to end up and don’t be afraid to change course if the road ahead starts to look less appealing. My advice is you selected option B is to… Take your time. By entering the world of health or any other growing field, you can rest assured that no matter what you do, you will always be able to find a job – medicine, for example, will always be in demand! Many career paths allow you to experience different positions that require the same degrees or certifications. For example, I know that I want to be a physician, and medical school will allow me to rotate throughout required and elective internships before I am asked to choose a residency and thus a specialty. Another great perk of working in health is that many skills translate between positions. You can work as a nurse in one capacity for 10 years or more and then decide you want to do something else. My point is that health and medicine are flexible career paths that you will have time to explore. For now, research educational programs to apply to after high school or college and look deeper into ones that require your unique set of skills and that you think will provide the working environment and lifestyle that you want. You’ll find that there’s a place for every personality in health. My advice if you selected option C is to… Take your time. So you’re a HOSA member who may not want to go into health (gasp!). If you are in high school, think about the classes that you enjoy most and perform best in and explore careers related to those subjects. Many, many college students enter a school not knowing if they selected the correct major. The good news is that college is very good at telling you what you do and don’t like – because you are doing more independent learning, you are exposed to more of the professional world of a subject and so get a better feel for it than you would in high school. Professional courses like those that prepare you for (more) specific careers are even better at this. You may spend money on extra semesters or additional certifications, but these are a small price to pay for a lifetime spent in a fulfilling career. I hope you can see that you have the luxury of time when it comes to this decision. I don’t recommend that you ignore others in your life that guide you in certain directions or give you their own advice – they are probably older and wiser than either you or me. But I do think that there is too much pressure placed on students today to select a career in high school. Slow down. Take a deep breath. It will all work out. Think of it as not one big decision, but a series of smaller decisions over years or even decades – this is a much more accurate picture. Explore your interests until you find yourself getting paid to do so – they say you won’t feel as if you’re working at all. Advice on Choosing a CAREER PATH By David Kelly, Former HOSA President and HOSA Guest Blogger HOSA BLOG Become an Ophthalmic Professional Ophthalmology is the practice of medicine concerned with the anatomy, diseases, and treatments of the eye. There are many careers available to high school grad- uates and college students working in Ophthalmology offices as part of the eye care team. Allied Ophthalmic Personnel (AOP) are highly skilled professionals, qualified by didactic and clinical ophthalmic training, who perform ophthalmic procedures under the direction of a licensed ophthalmologist. They work in varied workplace settings and for organizations of all sizes, including private prac- tices, medical centers, hospitals, and university clinics alongside ophthalmologists who provide medical and surgical treatment of eye conditions. People who are compassionate, empathetic, respectful, and professional, with strong communication skills have the important characteristics of eye care team members. AOP have a variety of responsibilities and work with pa- tients of all ages, from babies and children to adults and the elderly. They often perform a patient’s initial exam, including evaluating eye muscle movements, and gather information about a patient’s health history. Some AOP administer eye medications and assist ophthalmologists in surgical settings. There are two ways to enter the ophthalmic career field: u Attend an accredited academic educational program. v Begin working for an ophthalmologist now and learn the necessary skills through experience achieved under their supervision. Then take an approved independent study course. Choose your path Either path can prepare you for a career in ophthalmology. You will learn the skills needed to work with people who need spectacles or contact lenses, and those who have a variety of eye disorders such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic eye disease. Certification and Professional Organizations After completing training, allied ophthalmic personnel qualify to take the International Joint Commission on [email protected] • www.jcahpo.org/career_opportunities IJCAHPO ATPO Americans ages 40 and older are visually impaired Source: https://nei.nih.gov/nehep/lvam, 3/2018 Discover the rewarding opportunities of a CAREER IN SIGHT. Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology’s (IJCAHPO) Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) certification examination. Certification increases employment opportunities and earning potential, demonstrates mastery of specific skills, and may help with career advancement. IJCAHPO offers a variety of certifications recognized worldwide for AOP: • Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA®) • Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT®) • Certified Ophthalmic Medical Technologist (COMT®) • Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant (OSA®) • Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB®) • Certified Diagnostic Ophthalmic Sonographer (CDOS®) • Corporate Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (CCOA®) • Ophthalmic Scribe (OSC®) IJCAHPO offers educational opportunities through a wide range of programs and activities, including annual and regional meetings, lectures, workshops, distance and online learning opportunities, and independent programs approved for credit. Many AOP also choose to join the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO) www.atpo.org and/or the Canadian Society of Ophthalmic Medical Personnel (CSOMP) http://www.cos-sco.ca/csomp/. � Level of Training � Experience � Level of IJCAHPO Certifcation � Location � Supervisory Responsibilities According to the Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology (ATPO) National Salary and Benefts Report for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel, average salaries for an Ophthalmic Medical Technician per level of training: Entry COA Level $42,500 annual salary Intermediate COT Level $52,500 annual salary Advanced COMT Level $60,200 annual salary �Level of Training Factors That Determine Allied Ophthalmic Personnel Salaries Association of Technical Personnel in Ophthalmology INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION ON ALLIED HEALTH PERSONNEL IN OPHTHALMOLOGY® [email protected] • www.jcahpo.org/career_opportunities IJCAHPO ATPO 2025 Woodlane Drive, St Paul MN 55125 • 1-800-284-3937 For more information, please visit: www.jcahpo.org/career_opportunities [email protected] or call 800-284-3937. 8 SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES NEED MONEY FOR COLLEGE? APPLY FOR A HOSA SCHOLARSHIP. 10 When I prepare to write an article, I typically begin by going through the entries on my HOSA Blog at hosa.org/hosablog and determine if there are any “holes” in the information that I’m sharing. I think about what else I might have wanted to know about the road toward a health career when I was in high school or college. When I realized that I hadn’t yet written about choosing a college major I knew I had to - when I reflect, though, I think that the reason I have neglected writing this article for so long is because in most cases I don’t find it all that important for being successful in a professional school. (!!) That’s probably a surprise to most of you and it’s not always true, so this topic certainly still deserves its own article. As with many of my articles, my viewpoint stems from my own experiences applying to medical school. It bears noting that this advice may not apply to you. For example, if you are wanting to graduate college with a nursing degree you should likely major in nursing! But if you are planning to apply to a program that only requires that you fulfill certain prerequisite classes, you may take something from this information. It also bears noting that I’m not discussing the possibility of double majoring, minoring, or anything else. I’m sure I’ll eventually follow up with my thoughts on those possibilities, but for now I think I’ll stick to the basics of a single major. Let’s start by talking about those prerequisite classes I mentioned above. Most professional school programs will list in their admissions information what classes you must have taken to be eligible for admission. These classes may be extensive, but they won’t fill up your entire time at a four-year university. This means that you can usually major in something that has similar requirements to a health professional school (such as chemistry, biology, or biochemistry) and still have plenty of time to explore other areas of study. It also means, however, that you can major in something with completely different requirements than a health professional school (visual art, music, or language, perhaps) and have room in your schedule to also fulfill those professional school requirements. I hope you’re starting to see why I don’t find majors so important! They are important, but are important to you and not necessarily to your ability to get MAJOR Choosing a by David Kelly, Former HOSA National President (2012-13) 11 MAJOR into medical school (or dental school, etc.) Let’s dive deeper into how you might go about choosing what’s right for you. If you’ve known for a long time that you want to go into health and have found enjoyment in studying aspects of science in high school (you may even consider yourself a nerd), there is certainly nothing wrong in majoring in a scientific field of study. In fact, the vast majority of medical school applicants and, in turn, admitted students do just that. If you don’t enjoy science, then you probably wouldn’t enjoy medical school! This approach also allows you to both focus primarily on maintaining your excellent GPA (those chemistry classes aren’t going to ace themselves!) and add on classes in any other discipline you want! Or alternatively, you can dive even deeper into your major field of study than the average pre-health student. This is a great way to get a leg up on certain sections of the MCAT! Given that most other applicants to professional schools will also have majored in a similar field, admissions committees won’t penalize you for sticking with something like biochemistry. On the other hand, given that admissions committees see scientific majors repeatedly, a non-typical major might allow you to stand out in a crowded field of applicants. Let’s say you’ve played an instrument all your life and feel that if medicine wasn’t what you want to do, you’d want to play professionally. College may be your chance to explore that passion! Not only would you be able to pursue both your medical and musical passions, but by majoring in an artistic field you’d be diving into a world that you might not get a chance to experience otherwise. (I should note here that I know several musically inclined medical students and practicing physicians who do still find time to play regularly.) You may find that your musical studies inform your future medical studies. This is why admissions committees may pick you out of a crowd - they understand that diversity makes the profession stronger, and this holds true for diversity of interests and educational backgrounds. As long as you’re able to focus on your non-science major enough to excel in the program while keeping your “pre-professional” (science & math) GPA high, this might be a wonderful option. I hope you can see that while your major will define your collegiate career, it doesn’t define your ability to gain admission into a health-related professional school. I majored in neural science at NYU, which I consider to be in between the two scenarios I outline above. While a neural science major required that I take the chemistry and biology classes that were also required by the medical schools I was interested in, it also required a lot of courses that focused more narrowly on how the brain works. We studied the biology of memory for an entire semester, for example. Most of my colleagues were working toward doctoral programs, not medical or dental school, but those ultra-specific courses gave me a perspective on the nervous system that I wouldn’t possess otherwise. I enjoyed the program a great deal; I say all of this to encourage you to really explore the options that are available to you. Neural science isn’t a major that’s offered by all schools. I’m sure that the schools you’re interested in have similarly unique areas of study. Whether you know what you want to major in right now or not, know that you have time to explore - and know that no matter what, your professional school application will be stronger because of what you choose. Have a specific question about the majors offered by your school? Not sure if any of the advice above applies to you? Want to know an excruciating amount about how the finch brain encodes birdsong? Shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’ll get back to you right away! chemistry? biology? music? visual arts? biochemistry? neural science? language? 12 When Doug Wolf, Chief Strategy Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus & Member of the HOSA-100 National Advisory Council and Business Industry Representative on the Ohio HOSA Board of Directors, learned his mother, dignosed with Stage 5 kidney failure, needed a transplant, he didn’t have to think twice. After performing a series of medical tests to confirm compatibility, doctors determined that Mr. Wolf was a donor match, and he began the long process of preparing both him and his mother for surgery. Mr. Wolf has shared that the surgery was successful for his mother, and he is fine as well. Thank you, Mr. Wolf, for being a true role-model for future health professionals. HOSA-100 National Advisory Council Member Gives Kidney to His Mother Pictured: Dr. Obi Ekwenna, Surgeon, and Doug Wolf. H O S A ' S C O R E V A L U E S L E A D W E V A L U E L E A D E R S H I P . W E W I L L S E R V E A S R O L E M O D E L S I N O U R A C A D E M I C P R O G R A M , P R O F E S S I O N A N D C O M M U N I T Y . W E W I L L B E E T H I C A L , A C C O U N T A B L E A N D T R U S T W O R T H Y . W E W I L L U S E O U R I N F L U E N C E T O E M P O W E R O T H E R S T O S T R I V E F O R E X C E L L E N C E . " " H O S A ' S C O R E V A L U E S I N N O V A T E W E V A L U E I N N O V A T I O N . W E A R E D E D I C A T E D T O E N R I C H I N G T H E L I V E S O F O T H E R S . W E W I L L C O N T I N U O U S L Y S E E K T H E K N O W L E D G E A N D S K I L L S T O A D D R E S S C H A L L E N G E S A N D I M P R O V E T H E H E A L T H P R O F E S S I O N S . " " 13 HOSA Patch Exchange PROGRAM HOSA-Future Health Professionals will implement a “patch exchange program” starting at the 2019 HOSA ILC and will continue until December 31, 2019. At HOSA’s 2019 ILC in Orlando, Florida – all new patches will be exchanged for an old patch at no cost. After HOSA’s ILC and until December 31, 2019, patches can be exchanged with HOSA for $1. Starting January 1, 2020, the new patch will be required as the official HOSA uniform and can be purchased from Awards Unlimited for $3.80. After the middle of June2019, new patches can be purchased directly from Awards Unlimited for $3.80. H O S A ' S C O R E V A L U E S L E A R N W E V A L U E L E A R N I N G . W E A R E C O M M I T T E D T O L E A R N I N G A N D B E C O M I N G R E S P E C T E D , K N O W L E D G E A B L E A N D S K I L L E D H E A L T H P R O F E S S I O N A L S . W E W I L L R E S P E C T T H E E X P E R I E N C E S A N D C O N T R I B U T I O N S O F O U R T E A C H E R S , P E E R S A N D P A T I E N T S A N D S E E K T O L E A R N F R O M T H E M . " " H O S A ' S C O R E V A L U E S S E R V E W E V A L U E S E R V I C E . W E A R E D E D I C A T E D T O S E R V I N G O T H E R S W I T H C O M P A S S I O N . W E B E L I E V E T H A T I N D I V I D U A L S A R E I M P O R T A N T , A N D W E W I L L T R E A T E V E R Y O N E W I T H R E S P E C T A N D C A R E . " " 14 full Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can affect and damage any part of the body including the skin, muscles, joints and organs. With lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system. A normal immune system would produce antibodies to protect the body and fight off viruses, bacteria, and germs. “Autoimmunity” means that someone with lupus has an immune system that cannot tell the difference between “foreign invaders” and the body’s own healthy tissue. As a result, it creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy perfectly healthy tissue. Often called “The Great Imitator,” lupus has symptoms that are similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, thyroid problems, Lyme disease, and a number of heart, lung, muscle, and bone diseases. While there are several blood and tissue test to help track changes in your body that could be caused my lupus, there is not one single test that diagnoses the disease. Those tests, combined with possible symptoms of lupus, can help in diagnosing the disease. On average, it can take an average of six years for people with lupus to be diagnosed because the symptoms can change, come and go and often be unclear or misdiagnosed. Symptoms are, but not limited to: Fatigue Painful or swollen joints Swelling in hands, feet or around eyes Headaches or constant low-grade fever Sensitivity to sunlight or fluorescent lights Hair loss Mouth or nose ulcers Lupus has a huge impact on those living with the disease. 65% of people with lupus report chronic pain is the most difficult part of having lupus. 76% of lupus patients say chronic fatigue that is caused has forced them to cut back on social activities, and 89% report they can no longer work full-time due to lupus complications. Over 1.5 million people around the world are affected by lupus, and there are over 16,000 new cases or lupus reported each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “lupus is a devastating and life-changing disease that currently has no cure.” Awareness of Lupus also falls behind many other illnesses. 73% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 either have not heard about or know little about lupus other than its name. Considering people between the ages of 18-24 are most likely to be diagnosed with lupus and are also the most likely to have the least amount of knowledge about the disease, this is a great opportunity for you and your HOSA chapter to get involved! great Imitator THE 73% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 either have not heard about or know little about lupus.