Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College!

November 12, 2013 at 1:06 am

November 11th is a day to celebrate veterans – to honor their service and generosity to our country. Veterans should be honored every day, but today is especially important, as we formally recognize the sacrifices they have made. Nurses and other health care professionals play a large role in the U.S. Military, often without the recognition they deserve. Nurses in the Military serve at home and abroad, caring for all military personnel and their families.

Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College

Happy Veterans Day from Unitek College

Unitek College is proud to offer veterans the opportunity to take the skills they learned in enlisted service, and apply them towards a health care career, by using their Veterans Benefits towards Unitek College tuition. The majority of healthcare training programs offered by Unitek College are VA approved. The school provides Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) accredited training in fast-growing careers such as Medical AssistingPharmacy TechnicianVocational NursingRegistered Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Degree.

On this holiday, and every day, Unitek College would like to extend our sincere appreciation and support to all those who have or are serving our country.

Unitek College: School of Excellence

July 30, 2013 at 4:32 pm


The Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) recognized Unitek College as a School of Excellence today. We were selected to receive the award, out of a pool of over 800 career schools.

One of the biggest factors in winning the School of Excellence award are our students. Unitek College fosters a high level of achievement among the student body, as proven by our above-average graduation and graduate employment rates. “We are extremely excited and honored to be recognized by the ACCSC for our hard work and commitment to both our students and alumni,” stated Navraj Bawa, President of Unitek College, “This award is a testament to our students’ commitment to education.”

So why are Unitek College students so successful? Because our students, and their success, are our top priority. From the time a student walks in the front door, to the time they land their first allied health or nursing job, Unitek College is with them every step of the way. We foster student achievement through our tailored programs, modern simulation (SIMs) labs, and dedicated instructors, faculty, and staff.

The Career Services department makes a dedicated effort to partner with every student in making their goals a reality. Students enroll in allied health or nursing programs because they are interested in some aspect of healthcare. Maybe it’s pediatrics, or cardiology, or oncology, or any other aspect of medicine. The Career Services department helps students realize that passion, and places them in well-matched externships so they can further explore their interests. Externships are the opportunity to learn the direction in which to take your career. The Career Services department is committed to making sure every student has a career path they will be passionate about. Even after graduation, the Career Services department is happy to help alumni with their job search, offer advice, and give valuable occupational information.

The Unitek College faculty is passionate about what they do and what they teach. Instructors offer office hours, meet with students outside of class, and even offer their cell phone numbers, in an effort to make sure every student has the opportunity to ask them questions or clarify concepts. They ensure that their online students get just as much attention as their on-campus students. According to one instructor, “it doesn’t matter if a student is sitting in her living room listening to a lecture, she should feel like she is sitting in the front of the class.”

Our values guide our work. And we value our students and the contributions they will make in the field of healthcare. So we work to support student success in all areas: in coursework, in graduation, in finding a first job, in furthering their career goals. To be recognized for that work is an honor.

About Unitek College

Unitek College is a healthcare training school with three convenient locations in Northern California, including Fremont, Sacramento, and San Jose. Unitek College offers various healthcare programs, for any stage of your healthcare career.  To learn more about Unitek College, and the programs offered at each of the Unitek College campuses, visit http://www.unitekcollege.edu or call 888-898-1516.

Happy Armed Forces Day from Unitek College!

May 18, 2013 at 1:02 am
Happy Armed Forces Day from Unitek College

Happy Armed Forces Day from Unitek College

Happy Armed Forces Day from Unitek College! On August 31, 1949, Louis Johnson, Secretary of Defense at the time, announced the Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day replaced the four separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force Days, to commemorate the fact that all four Armed Forces had been unified under the Department of Defense. Armed Forces Day is an official day for citizens to thank our military service men and women for their service and support of our country.

This year we celebrate Armed Forces Day on May 18th. Armed Forces Day always falls near the end of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May and ends on the third Sunday of May every year.

The timing of this year’s Armed Forces Day is coincidentally perfect for Unitek College. Unitek College is proud of our military members and veterans all over the world. And we are proud to announce that veterans receiving military benefits now have the option to pursue postsecondary education at Unitek College’s Fremont Main Campus and Sacramento Branch Campus. Unitek College’s Chief Operating Officer, Navraj Bawa, stated “Our military personnel do so much by serving our country. To say we’re excited about providing them education and training to better their lives is an understatement.”

Unitek College accepts the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), Montgomery GI Bill, and participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was “Teamed for Defense”, a celebration of the unification of all US military forces teamed under the Department of Defense. Veterans at Unitek College are “Teamed for Success”. In honor of Armed Forces Day, Veterans at Unitek College gave advice for other veterans who are searching for what to do after their term of service.

Deano Morales, who served in the United States Army for 11 years believes it is very important for veterans to return to school. Deano doesn’t just say this to be cliché. His reasoning is insightful and could only come from someone who has experienced both military and civilian life: “All of the experience and skills we have, and our scope of practice, gives us such an advantage, if we choose the same type of work in civilian life as we did in the military, we will be successful.”

Isela Palmares served in the Marine Corps for 13 years. “Education is for personal growth,” she says, “One class leads to another and before you know it you’re on the road to what you want to do.” Unitek College is proud to help veterans understand, navigate, and use their veteran’s benefits.

Health Care and Business Collaboratives Reduce Costs and Improve Patient Care

January 6, 2012 at 9:45 pm

We’ve all heard that high administrative and medical costs are greatly effecting hospitals causing higher nurse-to-patient ratios, a decline in patient care, and various cutbacks. However, there is a new plan that cuts costs AND can improve patient care. This system may even help nurses with a BSN degree on the job.

Harris Meyer writes in Kaiser Health News that an unusual collaboration has been constructed between a company, a health care system and an insurance provider that reduces the bureaucracy for patients to get access to the aid they need. By reducing time it takes for patients to get seen, their costs have been reduced by approximately $2 million and the cost per patient has greatly reduced between 10 to 30 percent.

“Experts say employers, hospitals, physicians and health plans increasingly are willing to work together because cost and quality problems have reached crisis levels. The goal is to carve out health-care spending that’s wasteful and doesn’t help patients,” explains Meyer. “Collaboratives help physicians and hospital leaders see employers and patients as customers whose expectations, such as rapid access to care, must be met.”

There are some major roadblocks that prevent collaboratives from becoming the norm. Meyer writes that, “It’s often difficult to get traditional competitors and antagonists to collaborate, including sharing proprietary medical and financial data. Some employers are reluctant to get directly involved in how health care is delivered. Critics warn about rationing of care. And some physicians complain about interference with their professional autonomy… Perhaps the biggest roadblock is the predominant fee-for-service system, which pays providers to deliver more services, rather than better, more efficient care. Health-care payers, including private insurers and Medicare, have been slow to change their payment models to reward outcomes rather than volume of care. That sometimes puts providers in the position of losing revenue by doing the right thing for patients.”

It seems that this idea will take time to catch on. Although those who have participated in this health care experiment are pleased with the financial savings and patient approval ratings, the old equation of dollars and cents cannot be applied to this model.

As a nurse in a BSN degree program, it is important to research what trends are being implemented at the hospital that you potentially want to work at. Not only is there the stress of patient care, but also the twisted mass of bureaucracy that influences the attitude of the hospital.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2012/January/06/Collaborative-Efforts-Can-Save-Money-And-Improve-Care.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+khn+%28All+Kaiser+Health+News%29

Partnership for Patients Initiative to Improve Patient Care

December 26, 2011 at 4:13 pm

One of the best ways to study is with a fellow nursing student to share experiences, knowledge and accountability. Now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is doing something similar by having bigger hospitals with high patient care ratings share their methods for success with struggling hospitals. This could create better working environments and safer procedures for nurses getting their online RN to BSN degree.

On NurseZone.com it was reported that, “As a part of the Partnership for Patients initiative, a nationwide public-private collaboration to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of health care for all Americans, $218 million will go to 26 state, regional, national, or hospital system organizations. As Hospital Engagement Networks, these organizations will help identify solutions already working to reduce healthcare acquired conditions, and work to spread them to other hospitals and health care providers.”

Hospitals in these “Engagement Networks” will “be required to conduct intensive training programs to teach and support hospitals in making patient care safer, provide technical assistance to hospitals so that hospitals can achieve quality measurement goals, and establish and implement a system to track and monitor hospital progress in meeting quality improvement goals,” states the website.

I think it’s great for hospitals to collaborate so that each one doesn’t have to spend time or money and risk patient health and nurses’ sanity to find out what works and what doesn’t. However, I didn’t see any comments as to how to the weaker hospitals are chosen or whether or not the hospitals being helped are in low income areas. I bring this up because I think it’s easier for a large, profitable hospital located in an affluent area to have a lower patient readmission rate and greater success due to patient education, safer neighborhoods and healthier personal bank accounts. Will success at one of these hospitals equal success at a hospital serving primarily seniors or low income individuals? (Or maybe I’m just a cynic…)

This program boasts that “Achieving the Partnership for Patients’ objectives would mean approximately 1.8 million fewer injuries to patients in the hospital, saving over 60,000 lives over three years, and would mean more than 1.6 million patients to recover from illness without suffering a preventable complication requiring re-hospitalization.”

Going to an RN to BSN college means that there will always be new procedures to learn, new skills to employ and new strategies to be educated in. It will be interesting to see if this one sticks and reaches it’s goals.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/Partnership-for-Patients-Initiative-to-Improve-Hospital-Care_38726.aspx

Are Strikes Necessary in the Nursing World?

December 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

As another huge nursing strike is pending in California, it has me wondering if past strikes have made much progress. It seems like contracts are always in negotiations and that both management and staff have difficulty on coming to a mutual agreement. Is this the tide that nurses with an RN to BSN degree have to ride through the duration of their career?

In Southern California and San Francisco, approximately 6,000 nurses are planning a walk out on December 22, 2011 unless an agreement can be made. Carole Ditosti sums it up nicely on Technorati.com: “The problem for the nurses: staffing shortage strains, increased burdens, decreased health benefits. The problem for the hospitals: Medicare and Medicaid cuts, pressures to cut costs because of changes in health care financing. The problem for patients: how not to get sick during the walk out, and if one does become ill, how to select another hospital that doesn’t seem to be impacted, even though hospitals are reportedly contracting for strike-replacements at double the wages usually paid.”

My husband works for the county as a nurse and this week we were also given a bomb: 2% paycuts, we’d have to pay an additional $200 to $300 for our medical insurance and the state is no longer contributing to retirement funds. Ouch! Now one of these issues wouldn’t hit so hard, but combine all three with the cuts from last year and now it’s starting to really hurt. No strikes are planned at my husband’s work, but the nurses are getting increasingly frustrated. I can understand that the state is in a financial crisis and needs to make cuts in many areas, but hurting hard working individuals who are struggling to make it doesn’t seem like the best solution (and on a side note, neither does cutting funds for education and law enforcement.)

Ditosti also presents some scary statistics about when nurses go on strikes. “A recent study (for the National Bureau of Economic Research) of 50 nurses’ strikes in New York State between 1984 and 2004 showed that patient mortality was almost 20 percent higher during the strikes. To extrapolate in understandable numbers, for every 280 people admitted during the strike, one more person died than would have if there had been no strike. And of the people who were admitted, initially, 6.5 percent were more likely to come back and be readmitted within 30 days because they weren’t completely healed.”

So are strikes really necessary and will nurses with an online RN to BSN degree always have to battle management? Well, it sure seems that way. But with every job you have to take the good with the bad, and nursing is an amazing and fulfilling career to help others who desperately need you care.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://technorati.com/women/article/if-nurses-walk-out-will-hospital1/

Drug Shortages are a Problem Nurses May Face

December 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Drug shortages seem to be a growing problem in the medical world. From manufacturers discontinuing less profitable medications to ingredients being difficult to obtain, certain patients are suffering from not being able to acquire the drugs that they need for their ailments. As a nurse with a BSN degree, it can be difficult to know what your patient needs are and not being able to provide the answer.

On NurseZone.com, contributor Debra Wood reported on the increasing problem of drug shortages that is affecting nurses and patients alike. “Often shortages remain off the radar until a nurse goes to give the drug, and it is not available. The nurse may call the pharmacy to track it down and learn about the national shortage. The nurse then notifies the physician to try to obtain a different order. Meanwhile, the patient waits.”

“Every day something different comes up, and it’s hard to predict [what won’t be available],” said AnnMarie Papa, DNP, RN, CEN, NE-BC, FAEN, president of the Emergency Nurses Association, adding that “the biggest thing for nurses is the frustration.”

Wood also explains the dangers of drug errors when a doctor tries to replace a medication for one that isn’t available. “When the morphine shortage began, the 2 mg. strength was not available and pharmacies stocked higher dosages. The nurse expecting a 2 mg vial might not recognize it really is 10 mg and could administer an overdose. Eventually, even higher strengths of morphine became unavailable and hospital pharmacies switched to hydromorphone, which is seven times stronger than morphine. Some physicians inadvertently ordered the same number of milligrams, and nurses administered it, resulting in patient deaths. Likewise, different strength epinephrine led to overdoses of that drug.”

The FDA reported that drug shortages are increasing in current years. There were 61 shortages in 2005 which then jumped to 178 in 2010. Of the 127 in 2011, 80% are administered by sterile injection, primarily for oncology patients. “Injectables present more complex manufacturing processes, and most have only one manufacturer that produces at least 90 percent of the drug, according to facts released by the White House,” writes Wood.

As a student in an online RN to BSN degree program, there are many frustrations that lay ahead. Listening, being knowledgeable and having compassion are the best ways to help your patients when things are out of your control.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://nursezone.com/nursing-news-events/more-news.aspx?articleid=38484

How iPads Could Change the Medical World

December 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Every Apple store I pass by (when I get that rare chance to browse through a mall) is filled to the brim with people. Whenever a new product comes out, Apple seems to be on the news for its amazing technological advances and the mass of people who want to own this little piece of the future. When my brother-in-law, a financial analyst, started a new job a few months back, he was required to get one to stay connected with his co-workers and how they managed their tasks. Those in the medical field obviously are never left behind when it comes to technology and iPads are becoming part of the routine for countless doctors and nurses with their RN to BSN degree.

As a child of the 80’s, I remember Apple computers lining tables in my elementary school computer lab. These big, bulky, light tan grey monstrosities had a black screen with neon writing. The cursor was called a “turtle” and the big excitement was trying to make a square by typing the correct coordinates. Word process and making a simple shape were all that they were good for; oh how far they’ve come!

Now iPads have the amazing capacity to change the lives of millions of patients and make the jobs of doctors and nurses a little simpler. Larger than an iPhone and easier to maneuver through than with a plethora of apps, this is a practical tool for everyday job use. Abbie Smith writes on Health Care Global that iPads are changing the way medical staff does business.

“iPads could easily be used in healthcare to replace patient charts and medical history records… During the intake process a medical assistant could use the tablet to make a note of the patient’s vitals …In hospital settings, nurses and medical assistants could keep track of patient history and other daily records that the doctor could access at their convenience, helping them to prepare for patient consultations and hospital rounds,” writes Smith.

Other practical uses could be that medical explanations could be used in layman’s terms and doctors could show videos or charts to help aid patient understanding. Next, instead of toting around a ton of textbooks, medical dictionaries, etc., an iPad can store all the information that a student studying to enter into the medical field could ever need. With this technology, doctors could also access patient x-rays and charts, write prescriptions, keep track of current medications and cause fewer mistakes to be made.

Technology continues to make our lives easier and can make a difference in patient safety. Nurses in a BSN degree program have access to more information and technology than ever before.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://www.healthcareglobal.com/healthcare_technology/five-ways-apples-ipad-could-change-the-medical-field

Should States Step in to Aid Failing Hospitals?

November 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I just read a couple of articles about how some states are discussing how to take over floundering hospitals that are in a mass amount of debt. Hmmm… I must say that I am rather conflicted over whether this is the right thing to do: on one hand, if the management is incompetent and patients are at risk due to poor decisions, then something definitely has to change. On the other hand, our country is based on free enterprise and minimal government intervention. If the government steps in now, what will limit it from other industries? How will this impact us as taxpayers and as nurses with a BSN degree?

According to the Wall Street Journal, reporters Joseph De Avila and Jacob Gershman explain, “A New York state panel called Monday for sweeping changes that expand the state’s authority to assume control over troubled hospitals and also recommended the mergers of several troubled Brooklyn medical centers.

“The report was the culmination of a six-month effort by the state Department of Health to assess the finances of Brooklyn hospitals that have taken on staggering amounts of debt to remain open. The hospitals serve mostly the poor who use Medicaid insurance and patients who overly rely on costly emergency services for basic medical care.”

I think state intervention would be beneficial in this situation since most of the funding comes from Medicaid which is government dollars. However, I wonder if changing from a private hospital to a government run one would affect medical staff’s benefits, overtime, work schedules, etc. Also, are taxpayers going to have to foot the bill to get their local hospital out of major debt? These are already in financial strapped areas with people who don’t have extra cash to spare. Where is this additional government money going to come from?

Nina Bernstein reports in the New York Times that, “No hospital would simply be bailed out, the report said, but all would have to apply for support based on new patient-centered delivery models being promoted by the government to reduce Medicaid costs and improve outcomes. Support could include forgiveness of long-term debt, which could be controversial if private investors play a role.”

Now I know that this is happening in New York (and Arizona), but I’m guessing that every state has it’s distressed hospitals in low income neighborhoods. This may be the first state to intervene to save some hospitals, but I doubt it will be the last. RN to BSN bridge program students may have to decide if this is a viable option for employment and watch how this plays out across the nation.

To read the complete articles mentioned in this post, please visit
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203935604577066853179976904.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
and
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/nyregion/panel-urges-sharp-change-for-hospitals-in-brooklyn.html?_r=1

Specialists Help More Patients Via Robotics

November 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

The medical world is and will be short staffed for quite some time. I’ve read countless articles pertaining to the nursing shortage and also the lack of doctors. Specialists are also hard for patients to get a hold of due to distance and rarity in certain areas. Robotics is slowly starting to eliminate these problems and may be something that nurses with an online RN to BSN degree will see on their wards on a daily basis.

This is interesting: a few weeks ago I wrote my post about how Toyota has developed nurse robots to aid in routine patient maintenance tasks. The reality of these machines working daily in hospitals seemed years away. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Pulse editor Laura Raines writes that stroke patients at Northside Hospital-Cherokee use a Mobile Access Consultation Services (M.A.C.S) to access the skills of a specialist without that doctor being on sight.

“When a patient with stroke symptoms enters the emergency department, physicians can call a designated number to consult the Atlanta neurology team,” explains Raine.

“Instead of taking 30 minutes or more to drive to the hospital, I can log in within one or two minutes of the call,” said Dr. Keih Sanders, with AcuteCare Telemedicine. “I’ve even been able to pull over and work from my car.”

“Using a laptop, joy stick and headset, the physician drives the robot to a nurses’ station or a patient’s room to perform a stroke evaluation,” states Raines. With stroke patients, it is obvious that time is of the upmost importance. A specialist can evaluate the patient within minutes of the patient’s arrival to the hospital, use his access to the hospital data base to pull up CAT scans and blood reports, and then contact the ER doctor with the appropriate action that must be taken.

“We had to be comfortable with it in the room so that we could make our patients comfortable with it,” said Karen Newman, RN, BSN, emergency department nurse clinician at Northside Hospital-Cherokee. “When the physician beams in, his face is the same size it would normally be, and he can talk with the patient in real time. Once they get over the mouth-hanging-open surprise and the doctor starts talking, most patients forget about the machine.”

Technology amazes me and it seems like nursing students in an accelerated RN to BSN program are in for a lot more surprises.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit:
http://www.ajc.com/jobs/robot-consultation-1237521.html