01st Feb2016

Alumni Spotlight – Hong Nguyen

by Oregon HOSA

Hello-Kitty loving HOSA alumni Hong Nguyen was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. A true native to Oregon, she went to school here and has never left. She joined HOSA because she was interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. In the beginning of high school Hong was still exploring different areas, however by senior year she knew exactly what she wanted to do for college.

Hong started her HOSA journey at Benson Polytechnic High School as a freshman in 2000. The program at Benson was a perfect fit for a career minded student! “It gave me a foundation before getting to college; we learned a lot of things (i.e. medical terminology, anatomy, referencing medical journals) I don’t think a typical high school student had the chance to do” Benson’s specialized program integrated HOSA well into most of its curriculum. Hong explains the extensive hands-on experience they had in and out of the classroom; teaching CPR to students at Benson or middle school students at another location, meeting weekly with a resident at a nursing home, doing fillings on fake teeth, checking each other’s BP, the list goes on. And what better way to show off her skills but by competing at state?

State competitions were incredibly fun, showing off whose school is the best. Possibly one of the best perks was meeting so many peers from all over the state of Oregon, some of which she built long lasting friendships with to this day. Not one for playing it safe with one or two competitions, Hong went all in and made the most out of SLC as she could by competing in medical spelling, poster presentation (health career display), CPR, HOSA bowl, medical assisting, interviewing skills, job seeking skills, and some recognition event(s) (i.e. service award) and more! HOSA Bowl however was her favorite. This fast paced, competitive event not only offered well-earned bragging rights for the winners, but was incredibly fun!
Hong began working as a pharmacy intern for Fred Meyer in 2010 afterwards, graduating from OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy in 2012. She worked as a staff pharmacist up until July 2014 when she trained to become a Clinical Staff Pharmacist (CSP). One of her favorite accomplishments in her career was finally becoming a CSP. She works one on one with patients as their coach; the programs they have at Fred Meyer include Diabetes, Heart Healthy (Lipids + BP), Fitness/Nutrition/Weight Management, and Smoking Cessation. She also does Medication Therapy Management meetings with patients, etc. From time to time, you can even find her in Fred Meyer’s pharmacy ads!

Like many others, HOSA gave her direction before going to college rather than figuring out what she wanted to do or even switching majors after years of college. Hong elaborates, “Some people think they want to do something, or maybe be a doctor and once they get there, they realize it is not for them—but after they wasted a year with pre-reqs.”
Her one piece of advice to all HOSA members would be to take advantage of all the exciting, once in a lifetime opportunities HOSA offers. You are a part of an organization that not everyone has the advantage of being a part of. Reap every benefit from it that you can while you can. The education, experiences, and cherish the amazing people you meet along the way.

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