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Our Most Anticipated Event

Health academy students receive top honors

By Raquel Barta, Health Academy Sophomore
Palm Desert High School Medical Academy students at the regional SkillsUSA competition

Many students in the Palm Desert High School Health Academy anticipate this event from the beginning of the school year – the regional SkillsUSA competition. The coordinator of the Health Academy, Mr. Ron Paiz, makes the event available to all motivated, outstanding, and studious members of the academy. Though the competition encompasses various pathways like engineering, film, and more, Palm Desert Health Academy students participate in categories related to health care. Health knowledge bowl, medical terminology, medical math, first aid/CPR, and career pathway showcase are some of the most popular categories in which PDHS Health students compete.

The well-known competition drives students to push their mental capacities in preparation for the competition. Personally, I considered competing mainly to obtain a self-evaluation on my retention of class material. Aside from that, a team category would allow for an enjoyable opportunity to collaborate with other talented students. With this in mind, I briefly prepared with sample questions, excitedly looking forward to the awaited date. On February 2 of this year, I participated in the Region 6 competition in health knowledge bowl. As a first-year student, I was unclear about most of the technical details of the event. However, we were able to showcase our knowledge and efforts regardless of the few obstacles we encountered: missing paper, no writing utensils, etc. With a bit of strategy and teamwork, my team and I persevered and fairly competed against about seven other teams.

Ecstatic after the competition, we patiently waited for the release of the results to see which teams advanced to the state level. In spite of  our doubts, my team and I proudly achieved the top health knowledge bowl score from our school, and second place within the region. The experience itself allowed me to acknowledge the productivity of collaboration and sum of intelligence. Additionally, it opened up major opportunities for me in the context of my future in the medical field. Aside from a few awards, the honor of studying general health at a high school level fuels my passion for science in the medical field. In terms of future plans, I’d love to further my hands-on experience via internships and shadow opportunities.

Editor’s Note: At press time, Raquel and approximately 50 other PDHS Health Academy students were going on to compete in the SkillsUSA State of California competition in Ontario April 25-28.

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