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.

A Year in Review: A Patient’s Point-of-View

December 19, 2011 at 6:15 pm

This has been one crazy year for my family. From a patient’s point-of-view, we’ve had more surgeries, doctor’s visits and physical therapy appointments then all the previous years combined. With my husband being a nurse, we’ve also seen a lot of changes this year and there are plenty more coming in 2012. This is what I’ve learned from both sides of the hospital gown and I hope it helps students in an RN to BSN program gain another perspective on the medical field.

2011 was a tough one on my family. In February my middle sister had a breast reduction, in May my mom had wrist surgery, in June my daughter had corrective ear surgery, in July my nephew had rods put in his leg to lengthen his bones and in September my oldest sister had gastric bypass surgery. Needless to say, their experiences and recovery times were as various as the procedures themselves.

I must say that the hardest part of this year was dealing with my nephew and his leg surgery. What was supposed to consist of two operations and three months of wheelchair time and recovery has taken over seven months and five operations. Between multiple infections, not cutting the rods properly, a fractured bone and misinformation, this poor 11 year old has been through the ringer. He was at a nationally renowned hospital with the country’s best children’s orthopedic surgeon, and yet I was surprised at how bad the care and communication was.

As a patient (and patients’ family member), this year I’ve learned to be more patient, more grateful and more understanding of what nurses go through. Though my nephew had a bad experience, the rest of us had amazing care and capable, skilled nurses to attend to our various needs. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this on this blog over the year, but the experiences and opportunities for nurses are as varied as the specialties they pursue. For example, a crowded children’s hospital is going to be a lot more stressful and demanding than a small outpatient clinic.

From a nurses’ perspective, this has been a challenging year. My husband is a nurse at a county detention facility and limited overtime, benefit cutbacks and pay cuts are here with more on the horizon. I’m so grateful he has a job, but I’m encouraging (aka nagging) him to get his BSN so the cuts won’t be quite so painful.

With all the trials and ups and downs of this year, we’ve come out stronger and more appreciative for our health, each other and the quality care that is available to us. Our country has the best nurses and the best care in the world and it’s amazing RN and BSN nurses that make our medical system strong. Thank you for making a difference!!!

Nursing Stats You Didn’t Know About

September 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Lately my posts have been on the more serious side, so today I thought I’d lighten things up. There are some funny, surprisingt and interesting facts that I found on Scrubsmag.com and hopefully it brings a smile to your face and makes you think. As a student in an accelerated RN to BSN program, sometimes you just need to sit back and laugh at life.

Here are some of my favorite facts:
• There are more than 5.5 million nurses and nurses aids in the United States. That’s more than the population of 30 states and 5 times the size of the U.S. Army.
• 6% of RNs are men and 85% are Caucasian
• Nurses have more on the job injuries than construction workers
• The national hourly wage for an RN is $31.31. The highest paid are in San Jose, CA with $50.19 an hour and the lowest paid live in Johnstown, PA with a wage of $20.41 per hour.
• There are more than 135,000 job openings for nurses currently in the country. By 2020, it is projected that that number will rise to one million.
• In 1846 the first hospital training school for nurses, the Institute for Protestant Deaconesses, was established in the town of Kaiserwerth, Germany.
• According to a recent World Health Organization report, the United States spends more money, as a ratio of GNP, on health care than any country, followed closely by Lebanon and Zimbabwe.
• One out of every four registered nurses works part time
• The first nursing school in history dates back to 250 B.C. and was located in India.
• A Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) takes about 4 to 5 years
• About three out of every five registered nurses work in hospitals
• If you see a nurse smiling when things go wrong, she is probably going off duty
• May 8th is National Student Nurses’ Day
• In the various U.S. Military branches, approximately one-third of all nurses are male

So did you count how many of these facts you didn’t know? There is a long and rich history to nursing, and with online RN to BSN programs available, the methods may be changing but the compassion and desire to help people remains the same.

To read the complete articles mentioned in this post, please visit
http://scrubsmag.com/nursing-stats-youve-never-heard-of-until-now/
and
http://scrubsmag.com/101-nursing-fun-facts/

Higher Nurse Staffing Levels Improves Patient Outcomes

June 1, 2011 at 6:22 am

It’s no secret amongst healthcare workers that having more nurses on staff does wonders for patient outcomes.  It’s common sense that BSN students should be aware of.  The more nurses there are, the more people there are to provide care to patients.  With more nurses, fewer patients fall through holes, fewer mistakes are made during treatment, and fewer nurses are burnt out.  This allows nurses to better focus on their tasks and give patients the attention they deserve.

A nurse at the University of California, San Francisco conducted a study on how nursing levels affects patient outcomes.  The study provides evidence that supports the logic behind higher nursing staff levels.

Nurse.com reports:

The study finds that higher staffing levels in ICUs and in nonintensive care units improve patient outcomes but not to the same extent in safety net hospitals.

Mary Blegen, RN, PhD, FAAN, professor and director of the Center for Patient Safety at the UCSF School of Nursing, is one of the lead investigators of the study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative.

Blegen led an interdisciplinary team with nurse administrators, health service researchers and health economists that reviewed data from the University HealthSystem Consortium, which included details on 1.1 million adult patients cared for in 872 units (285 of them ICUs) in 54 hospitals, and the hours of care that nurses provided to those patients.

Researchers found while the staffing levels were similar in safety net and non-safety net hospitals, patient outcomes were worse in safety-net hospitals. In non-safety net hospitals, higher nurse staffing rates and a larger number of RNs were associated with fewer deaths caused by congestive heart failure; fewer incidents in which nurses did not note or initiate treatment in life-threatening situations (failure to rescue); lower rates of infection, including infection after operations (postoperative sepsis); and fewer patients who were required to stay in the hospital for longer than expected.

“Higher levels of nursing skill and more nurses providing more hours of care, overall, are correlated with better care — shorter hospital stays, fewer infections and lower rates of failure to rescue,” Blegen said. “We suspect that the increase in mortality rates due to congestive heart failure in safety net hospitals is a function of patients’ overall health, rather than staffing rates, but more research needs to be done. We also need to know more about how non-RNs affect patient care.”

The findings were published in Medical Care.

Doctors Thank Nurses

May 27, 2011 at 3:44 am

We all know that nurse – doctor interactions can often be tense and unpleasant.  This is something all RN-BSN students should brace themselves for before entering the work force.  There’s a definite hierarchy in hospitals that places nurses below doctors.  Because of this hierarchy some doctors undervalue nurses despite having to rely on their work and knowledge.  More often than not, doctors would be lost without the help of nurses, but many are too prideful to admit this.  Here are a couple doctors who aren’t and would like to let nurses know how much they appreciate them:

Eyes and Ears:
Patricia Abboud, MD, a pediatric intensivist at Dayton Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio, says she can’t isolate just one story about nurses because the ones she works with are all wonderful. She writes:

I am very grateful for ALL the Pediatric ICU nurses I work with. Their level of skill, professionalism, empathy and compassion is exceptional. I rely on their assessments HEAVILY to manage the most critically ill patients in our hospital. In our institution we don’t have in-house attending 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That said, I rely on the nurses’ assessments and interpretations of the patients when I am not able to be at the bedside. I often refer to them as my “eyes and ears.”

Tragedy Averted
A misplaced decimal point made Stephen Herman, MD, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, realize why good nurses are invaluable members of healthcare teams. He recalls the incident clearly; it was his first year out of medical school and he was doing a pediatrics internship.

“I had been up all night, on call, and the next morning I was making rounds, visiting some very sick infants,” he explains. “I wrote an order on a chart for an antibiotic, but I didn’t put the decimal in the right place, and had the nursing staff given what I ordered, we probably would have lost the baby if not caused severe damage to the kidneys or other organs.”

A nurse on the floor picked up on the mistake and approached Herman about it, and he corrected the order. “She saved my behind,” he says with relief and a great deal of gratitude. He adds that this was so long ago that he doesn’t remember the nurse’s name, but acknowledges that situations like this likely are still common today, and that the knowledge and experience of nurses can save the day.

These tributes to nurses were collected by Cynthia Dusseault with ScrubsMag.  To read more doctors’ tributes to nurse, please visit: http://scrubsmag.com/doctor-tributes-to-nurses/

While doctors should never be let off the hook for undervaluing nurses, we can at least take solace knowing that some of them really do appreciate our work.

Nursing Job Description: How Times Have Changed!

May 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

In nursing school we learn about the ins and outs of nursing from bedside manner to wound care. Sometimes I think that this must be the toughest era to be a nurse in with technology changing faster than you can keep up with and union meetings taking up precious time. I found this list on Scrubsmag.com list that I think will make RN to BSN students grateful to be a nurse in the 21st century.

1887 Nursing Job Description

“In addition to caring for your 50 patients, each bedside nurse will follow these regulations:
1. Daily sweep and mop the floors of your ward, dust the patient’s furniture and window sills.
2. Maintain an even temperature in your ward by bringing in a scuttle of coal for the day’s business.
3. Light is important to observe the patient’s condition. Therefore, each day fill kerosene lamps, clean chimneys and trim wicks.
4. The nurse’s notes are important in aiding your physician’s work. Make your pens carefully; you may whittle nibs to your individual taste.
5. Each nurse on day duty will report every day at 7 a.m. and leave at 8 p.m., except on the Sabbath, on which day she will be off from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
6. Graduate nurses in good standing with the director of nurses will be given an evening off each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if you go regularly to church.
7. Each nurse should lay aside from each payday a goodly sum of her earnings for her benefits during her declining years, so that she will not become a burden. For example, if you earn $30 a month, you should set aside $15.
8. Any nurse who smokes, uses liquor in any form, gets her hair done at a beauty shop or frequents dance halls will give the director of nurses good reason to suspect her worth, intentions and integrity.
9. The nurse who performs her labors [and] serves her patients and doctors faithfully and without fault for a period of five years will be given an increase by the hospital administration of five cents per day.”

Okay, this is one of the few posts that I’ll submit like this. I just know that being in an RN to BSN program is stressful and if this gave you a chuckle today, then it was worth it!

To read the complete post mentioned in this article, please visit:
http://scrubsmag.com/a-list-of-rules-for-nurses-from-1887/

Nursing Occupational Facts

May 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

Want to be a nurse but not sure what you’re getting into?  Finishing up your BSN degree and want to know what the occupational outlook is going for this year?  If so, this post is for you.  I’ve summarized some facts taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and compiled by AllNurses.com that should give you a better idea of what the field is like and what your prospects are for the upcoming year.

Significant Points

Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs.

  • About 60 percent of RN jobs are in hospitals.
  • The three typical educational paths to registered nursing are a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program; advanced practice nurses—clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners—need a master’s degree.
  • Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting; some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs.

Education and training:
There are three typical educational paths to registered nursing—a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma. Advancement opportunities may be more limited for ADN and diploma holders compared to RNs who obtain a BSN or higher. Individuals who complete a bachelor’s degree receive more training in areas such as communication, leadership, and critical thinking, all of which are becoming more important as nursing practice becomes more complex. Additionally, bachelor’s degree programs offer more clinical experience in nonhospital settings. A bachelor’s or higher degree is often necessary for administrative positions, research, consulting, and teaching.

Job Outlook:
Overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting. Some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs. Employment of RNs is expected to grow much faster than the average and, because the occupation is very large, 581,500 new jobs will result, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of job openings will result from the need to replace experienced nurses who leave the occupation.

Job prospects:
Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent for registered nurses. Employers in some parts of the country and in certain employment settings report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs, primarily because of an aging RN workforce and a lack of younger workers to fill positions. Generally, RNs with at least a bachelor’s degree will have better job prospects than those without a bachelor’s. In addition, all four advanced practice specialties—clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetists—will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas. Relative to physicians, these RNs increasingly serve as lower-cost primary care providers.

To read the entire article, please visit: http://allnurses.com/nursing-news/registered-nursing-occupational-527848.html

New Nursing App for Smart Phone

April 20, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Okay, I’m a little behind the times. I use my phone to call a few people and to occasionally check my e-mail when I’m running around. I rarely text and I think I have about a million roll over minutes. Now there are all of these commercials heralding the multiple apps that you can buy to make life better. Well, there is one that I think actually might do that; for RN to BSN students, there is an app that provides seemingly endless information to help nurses treat patients.

Imagine carrying a library of medical journals with you on the job. That’s almost what it’s like with the new application from Unbound Medicine that goes under the name Nursing Central. NurseZone.com contributor Megan M. Krischke explains that, “Unbound’s founder, a physician, began the company after recognizing that the wealth of information and resources available to clinicians was often difficult to access quickly at the bedside. The Nursing Central suite, which is compatible with most mobile devices, includes Davis’s Drug Guide, Diseases and Disorders, Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, selected MEDLINE journals and Davis’s Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests.

“An initial annual subscription to Nursing Central costs less than purchasing all of the individual texts in hard copy and provides a year of updates and online access to the resources. One thing that is relatively unique about this application is that once you have purchased it, you can always access these texts on your device. An ongoing subscription is required for continued updates and online access.

“’The Nursing Central app is something that nurses can use from the time they are students and all the way through their professional nursing career,’ commented Brian Cairy, director of marketing for Unbound Medicine.”

While some hospitals prohibit the use of smart phones on the job for security reasons, others are embracing this new technology as an asset to both the nurses and their patients. There is also the factor that these phones have cameras and may inhibit patient privacy. With new technology comes new risks. Does the good outweigh the bad?

If you are in an RN to BSN program, there are a variety of new resources to help you succeed. Social media networks, the internet and now smart phone apps can bring the nursing world to you.

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit
http://nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/Nurses-Find-Favorite-Apps-to-Help-with-Patient-Care_36768.aspx

Current Health Care Trends Part I

March 28, 2011 at 1:12 pm

There are some topics that are reoccurring in the health care industry: nursing shortages, impacted schools, and health care reform are just a few. Those who are in an RN to BSN nursing program are in the midst of major changes and Becker’s Hospital Review has compiled a list of the ”10 Current Healthcare Employment and Compensation Trends.”

This past week, reporter Rachel Fields posted, “10 trends affecting employment and compensation in healthcare, according to various surveys, studies and news reports.” Her article is full of interesting facts and we have highlighted some of the best ones, this is part one and part two will follow in sequence.

  • Nursing enrollment is rising – “Enrollment in nursing programs from baccalaureate level to advance practice is growing, and more men are entering the field, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The survey, which covered nursing enrollments in 2010, also found that more students are enrolling in entry-level nursing baccalaureate programs and PhD nursing programs. In addition, accelerated nursing programs are growing; there are currently 13,605 students enrolled in the nation’s 233 accelerated baccalaureate programs, up from 11,960 in 2009.”
  • More medical students choose primary care – “Positions filled by U.S. seniors rose by 11 percent in family medicine, 8 percent in internal medicine and 3 percent in pediatrics over the last year, and family medicine matches were higher for the second consecutive year.” As a nurse, this is interesting because it seems to imply that there will be more job opportunities as a primary care nurse and fewer opportunities with more competition (can compensation) in areas of specialties.
  • Physician compensation in academic settings increased in 2010 – Doctors are making more and those who hold specialties or are department chairs made more. How will this change with health care reform? If doctors made more, did nurses too?
  • Staffing levels affect mortality rates – “Patient mortality was linked to hospital shifts with low nurse staffing levels and high patient turnover…Patient turnover is thought to divert nurses’ time and attention from other matters.” As an RN or BSN, this fact probably isn’t new or surprising but a published study may bring more attention to a subject matter that has been put on the back burner.

To read the complete article referenced in this post, you can visit
http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-financial-and-business-news/10-current-healthcare-employment-and-compensation-trends.html

Assaulted on the Job: Nurses Weight the Risks In and Out of RN to BSN Programs

March 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Nurses have to be aware of their surroundings and cautious at all times. That is a basic fact when working with patients who have contagious illnesses, when working with needles or handling body fluids. There are several risks that you just plan for when entering into health care and considering a RN to BSN program. The thing that I didn’t expect was the violence of patients that seems to be on the rise.

Last November one of my husband’s co-workers was murdered on the job. Granted, he is a nurse at a detention facility in the San Francisco Bay Area and he isn’t working with the most savory of characters, but I didn’t think he would have to face such dangers as a nurse. During a basic interview to determine the inmate’s health history, the inmate struck the nurse on the head with a nearby object. She then fell and hit her head on the concrete floor causing major head trauma which led to her death.

What concerns me is that this situation does not seem to be an isolated incident. The Napa County hospital has been in the news for the nurse that was murdered at the end of last year, too. Today I also read an article from Aleks Devic of the healdsun.com in Australia who interviewed a nurse who was recently attacked by a patient. “The 55-year-old said frightened nurses were facing increasing violence from patients and visitors…statistics show 60 nurses are assaulted every month.”

“The woman, who asked not to be named, said she was assaulted after she asked her attacker to leave when the woman became aggressive and abusive in the waiting room on January 16 at 12.30am… ‘She then turned and punched me to the face and I became unbalanced and then she punched the daylights out of my head,’ the nurse said.’ She said the beating only stopped when the mother of a six-year-old she was treating came to her aid.”

Devic also mentions that a big factor in the aggressive behavior of the patient was the frustration casued by the long wait in the ER and the lack of staff available.

Even with all of these stories that are popping up in the news, if you are called to complete a RN to BSN program, you have to follow your heart. Every job poses a risk, but you just need to play it smart and be aware of your surroundings. 

 For more information, please go to:
http://azstarnet.com/news/local/article_118a7f82-0415-57e6-b8f5-e8f8269ca215.html