Four Killeen ISD Career Academy health care students created a video about hypertension that is taking them to national competition.

Indey Whigham of Harker Heights High School and Kayla Keeler, Shivangi Patel and Hannah Honaker of Ellison High School will find out in late June at the national HOSA conference how their public service announcement ranked among the nation’s best.

The conference for Health Occupations Students of America is June 25-30 in Nashville. The top three finishers in each participating state will square off at the culminating event.

The video announcement, called “Pay Attention to Hypertension,” won at area competition among 39 entries and took second place at state among 22 entries to qualify for the final show.

The 30-second video announcement shows a student (Patel) slowly turning orange and then red as bubbles float up containing images of her classmates while describing the dangers of hypertension.

Students also created a four-minute presentation describing the video and their topic. They learned that hypertension is a dangerous condition that affects one in five Americans and that a healthy diet, aerobic exercise and minimizing stress help battle it. As seniors taking multiple health-related career classes, the students said they wanted to give competition a shot.

They used the television studio equipment and software at the new Career Center to create their video.

In addition to the pride and joy of winning, students said the competitions have confirmed to them the competitive, passionate nature of health care vocations.

“There are a lot of people in the health care arena and you have to work hard,” Keeler said. “It’s nice to see how many people want to help (patients).”

There’s a joy to winning, too.

The girls described being called to the stage as finalists and waiting for the judge to name the fifth and fourth finishers, then each of the three qualifiers.

“We were holding hands and shaking,” Patel said.

“It’s really fun,” Honaker said. “Winning makes us feel like we’re catching our dreams.”

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