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Coppell Student Media

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Coppell Student Media

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October 26, 2023

CHS9 HOSA blood pressure drive endorsing heart health, helping hone vital medical skills

CHS9 Principal Cody Koontz gets his blood pressure taken by freshmen HOSA members in the cafeteria during lunch on Tuesday. In honor of American Heart Health Month, HOSA members measured blood pressure to spread awareness about heart and blood health.
Ainsley Dwyer
CHS9 Principal Cody Koontz gets his blood pressure taken by freshmen HOSA members in the cafeteria during lunch on Tuesday. In honor of American Heart Health Month, HOSA members measured blood pressure to spread awareness about heart and blood health.

A blood pressure cuff huffs as it tightens on a CHS9 Principal Cody Koontz  arm, hissing as it loosens its grip and a reading appears on the nearby blood pressure machine.

CHS9 HOSA has recently started its new blood pressure drive, which strives to raise awareness about heart health.

“February is American Heart Health month, and we’re celebrating heart health, so I wanted a way to involve [CHS9 HOSA] in the school community,” CHS9 HOSA sponsor Amber Fragosa-Deck said. 

Additionally, taking blood pressure is a necessary practical skill that CHS9 HOSA members can practice via the blood pressure drive. With the experience fully immersing them in taking a patient’s blood pressure, they are also developing medical experience  by practicing on others, preparing them for the future.

“We want to give students opportunities to practice their medical, public speaking and people skills,” CHS9 HOSA secretary Gia Ajani said.

The blood pressure drive, which opened on Feb. 12 and continues through March 8, allows CHS9 staff to come in and take their blood pressure during Hour Block Lunch on a stand near the front office manned by two CHS9 HOSA members. 

Students measure the faculty member’s blood pressure using a blood pressure machine provided by the CHS9 health science department. If a staff member’s blood pressure is too high or too low, HOSA members will communicate this to them and advise the staff member to see a medical professional.

“We want to make sure the teachers are managing their health as well as they can,” Ajani said.

The blood pressure drive is also a part of a larger scope of CHS9 HOSA events. Members of the organization are required to earn at least 65 activity points by the end of the year, which can be achieved through active participation in events like the blood pressure drive.

Through it, students can help foster better relationships with the staff and the community as a whole, in addition to honing their medical skills.

“I like the way that students and teachers get to interact because a lot of the teachers want to help the students become better medical professionals, and it’s amazing to see,” Ajani said

However, staff participation has been lower than anticipated. Originally, CHS9 HOSA leadership expected there to be at least two faculty members per lunch block, one for each student there during that respective shift.

“Unfortunately, not a lot of teachers are well informed about this even though we have sent out emails, so the turnout has not been what we expected,” CHS9 HOSA historian Masooma Fatima said.

To combat this, Fatima has created a plan to spread more awareness.

“We are working to make posters to put around the school and individually going and talking to teachers,” Fatima said.

Seeing the process and benefits of the blood pressure drive, CHS9 HOSA officers hope to continue to implement more events in the future to help members gain more skills and have more community involvement.

Follow Yug (@YugTalukdar) and @CHSCampusNews on X.

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About the Contributors
Yug Talukdar, Staff Writer
Yug is a sophomore and a staff writer. He has enjoyed since 2017 watching soccer and his favorite team is Arsenal. He reads historical and philosophical fiction such as 1984 as a hobby. Yug hopes to grow in communication, writing and photography skills as a journalist and meet new people. You can contact him at [email protected].
Ainsley Dwyer, Entertainment Editor
Ainsley Dwyer is a junior and the entertainment editor of The Sidekick. In her free time, Ainsley enjoys theater, enjoys singing, playing the guitar and binge watching TV shows and her favorite movies, Dead Poets Society, Almost Famous, Scream, Maurice and more. She is typically found listening to Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Mamas & Papas, The Doors, Elvis Presley, Fleetwood Mac, Amy Winehouse, Deftones, Coldplay and Evanescence. She’s born and raised in Coppell. Both her parents and families are from Colorado, and she frequently visits them every year. She plans to attend the University of Missouri to double major in history and journalism. Ainsley has two dogs named Blue and Rouey who are part lab and part pointer. Her favorite place she’s traveled to is New York and would love to live there when she's older. She also dreams of traveling across Europe. Ainsley is a big soccer fan, and her favorite player is Luka Modrić so she loves to root for Real Madrid and Croatia’s National Team. Ainsley also has a deep fascination with pop culture from the 2000s as well as pop culture from the 1960s and 70s. You can contact her on 'X'  (@ainsleydwyer).

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