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 Guest of Honor: Congressman Swalwell

August 7, 2013 at 11:45 pm
Congressman Swalwell speaks at Unitek College graduation.

Congressman Swalwell speaks at Unitek College.

Congressman Eric Swalwell left a lasting impression on everyone in attendance at Unitek College’s allied health and nursing graduation on Saturday July 27th. His speech was both enthralling and inspiring: it began with laughs from the audience, then brought some to tears, and ended with the entire room feeling motivated and confident in their ability to make a difference in the world. Staying true to his nickname, the “Technology Rep”, he whipped out his phone as soon as he stepped on stage, to take a quick Vine video of the grads. He posted it to his Twitter account (@RepSwalwell) before graduation was even over.

As the youngest member of Congress, you may think Swalwell led a privileged life, the child of well-connected parents. And this is simply not the case. Like many Unitek College graduates, he worked hard to get where he is today. When he lost his college scholarship as the result of a soccer injury, he took an unpaid internship in Washington DC. Just to get by, Swalwell maintained a standard intern schedule, but worked from 5AM to 8AM at a gym, and from 5PM to 10PM at a restaurant. He commended the many graduates in the audience who also overcame adversity before being able to walk across the stage that weekend. Swalwell noted one in particular: she came to the United States and learned English as a second language. She attended Unitek College while working a full time job and mothering to two young children. And now, her perseverance has paid off: she is a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Swalwell said, “You have to stubbornly pursue your dreams, even if others tell you that you cannot do it.”

Swalwell went on to talk about the bright futures of the graduates sitting in front of him. He noted that they are entering the medical field, a field that is constantly changing and improving and being revolutionized by technology. But technology will never replace the human touch of a nurse. He spoke to the graduates about the ever-present need for the human touch: “In our sickest times, in our lowest times, during the times we need help the most, there is no ‘app for that’. There is you.”

“Technology will replace a lot of things in our lives and in the medical field, but it will not replace the care, attentiveness, knowledge and skills needed to make our patients better. And that is why it’s so important we have qualified nurses entering the field today.” Unitek College is proud of this weekend’s graduates, as they have most definitely proven that they have the compassion, knowledge, and skills necessary to be effective allied health and nursing professionals.

Swalwell challenged the grads to remember how they got to where they are today: their own hard work and resilient spirit, and the support of others. “You did not make it here on your own,” he said, “Find someone you can help. Someone pulled you up. Now it is encumbered upon you, as you start your career, to reach down and pull somebody else up.” Speaking directly to the grads, he said, “There will be challenges. But never forget why you started, an unequivocal desire to help others.”

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.

Budget Cuts Affecting Nursing Students

July 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

It’s not news that nursing schools are impacted and nursing instructors are limited. I have a friend who has submitted her name into a lottery system for the past three years only to be denied acceptance into school (and she even has her BS in Biochemistry!) State cutbacks are now making matters worse for community college students. It seems like an accelerated RN to BSN online program may just be the best way to go!

According to the Fountain Valley Patch reporter John Sekata, “The budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown cut the California community college budget by 8 percent, which means students will pay $36 per unit in the fall, a $10 per unit increase in tuition. Tuition could increase to $46 per unit in the spring of 2012 if the economy fails to meet the projections used in the budget… Another challenge on top of rising tuition for community college students… is fewer available classes and a smaller pool of faculty at work.”

With limited classes being offered and the competition increasing as more students are pursuing a higher education, money is a big issue closely followed by the time invested to wait to get into a program. Many higher education classes are being offered just once a year rather than year round.

“Over the last three fiscal years, the California community college budget has been cut by more than $800 million, according to a press release from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office,” writes Sekata. “For students, the new California budget means more of the same— higher costs, but fewer services and more hurdles to obtain a degree.”

With impacted nursing classes and high costs even at community colleges, online classes may be the path for you. There are several programs out there, but beware of sub rate ones. Check to make sure the school is accredited, that the faculty is credentialed, that it has a positive reputation and that the students who are graduating are able to find work. You may want to visit the campus and talk to a career counselor and students on campus to get the real back story of the school.

There are some great online RN to BSN nursing programs out there and the convenience can’t be beat. Working around a work or family schedule, you can pursue your education and prepare for a better future today… without putting your name on a waiting list!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please visit:
http://fountainvalley.patch.com/articles/no-easy-path-to-an-associates-degree

Don’t Let Excuses Keep You From Going Back to Nursing School

May 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm

The times are a-changin’! So many people are going back to school to pursue a higher education or to change careers. The old fears of age barriers and high costs are now not valid excuses to prevent you from returning to the classroom. If you are considering going back to school, just do it! Whether you are looking for a campus or an accredited online RN to BSN program, start a new chapter in your life today.

Rebekah Child wrote an article on ScrubsMag.com about why the top five reasons for going back to school are no longer relevant. Here are some of her reasons:

1) I’m too old. – My friend’s mom just got her RN degree two years ago. Now she loves her job and even started dating again. (Okay, that has nothing to do with nursing, but it is about starting over!) You’re never too old to pursue your dream, and no matter your age you still have a lot of life to live. You have two choices: living a life of “what if’s” or live life to the fullest.

2) I hate writing papers – No one is going to like everything about every course or every job. Deal with it!

3) I’m not good with computers – Computers are crazy complicated, but if you’re willing to learn there always seems to be someone willing to teach you. Maybe a nephew, daughter, friend’s son, etc. would spend a couple hours showing you the basics or maybe a summer computer class would be helpful. Once you get a feel for technology, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

4) I don’t like going to class – There are so many great online schools out there! Find the one that’s right for you and go for it. You can study and do your coursework on your schedule and from home.

5) It’s too expensive – There are many scholarships and grants available. You just have to find them. Plus, if you meet with a school that you’re interested in, they usually have some great ideas on how to come up with the funding.

Now is the time to go back to school if you’ve been sitting on the fence. Nurses are in high demand and the need is only increasing. Apply to an RN to BSN program today!

To read the complete article mentioned in this post, please go to:
http://scrubsmag.com/get-back-in-school-already/

Tips from Former Nursing Students

April 6, 2011 at 4:42 am


Going to school and getting your BSN is a great place to start if you want to become a nurse.  However, starting is easy, getting through school and completing your degree is the tough part.  Well, that is before you get to the tougher part — actually applying what you’ve learned.  Here are some tips from former nursing students on how to both do well in school, and excel at clinicals:
Get the most from your books:

  • Take your materials out of your house to study. Get away from distractions, undone dishes, radio and TV. The doughnut shop or all night cafe will offer quiet and ample amounts of coffee.
  • Read nursing journals and magazines. Often current articles will compliment your text and make the information more easily understood.
  • Use individual sheets of paper or large index cards to make a file of disease/conditions and their treatments. List etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, interventions, etc. and keep them in a binder for future reference as well as present study.
  • Take notes from your notes! After taking notes in class or from the book, put away the book and tape player and outline the notes.
  • Turn course objectives (as found in the beginning of each chapter or from the course syllabus) into questions – instant study guide!

Thrive in clinicals:

  • Whether you don’t know how to make a bed or have been an EMT for years, remember everyone begins clinicals as different levels of experience. Focus on where you are going, what you will learn – not on how much (or little) you know now.
  • If you have trouble remembering protocols, lab values or even your patient’s name down on index cards and keep them in your pocket. The more you use them the more you study them.
  • In Psych rotation, take a moment to center yourself before working with patients. Most respond best to a calm focused approach.
  • Study your instructors. The more you know them the more likely you are to understand them and what they are expecting from you.
  • If you don’t know how to do a procedure, look it up, check the protocols, ask for help. Instructors would rather be “bothered” walking you through the procedure than fixing the mess or hearing the complaints if you do something wrong.
  • Be helpful to the nurse you are assigned to for clinical. Take all the vitals, never contradict publicly, don’t ask constant questions (that’s what you have instructors for) In general, kiss-up! The nurse will be glad of the help and be more likely to help you.
  • Don’t make your supervising nurse hold your hand. Even if you’re scared and have never done something before, jump in and do anything suggested.
  • Volunteer information! Instructors like to be informed about your patients. If they can trust you to keep them informed, you are likely to be trusted to work independently.
  • Explore volunteer opportunities in your area. It ain’t just for candy stripers any more. Many clinics and outreach organizations are completely run by volunteers. The experience can help you shine on the floor.

For more tips and resources that will help you get closer to that degree and into the workforce, visit: http://www.medi-smart.com/

When Nurses Have to Decide What’s Right

April 5, 2011 at 4:47 am

Eventually, all nurses struggle down the slippery slope of ethics.  Making tough decisions, such choosing to stick to your convictions even if it costs you your job, is something that isn’t always discussed in nursing school.

Last week, Roosevelt Hospital in New York City refused to treat a homeless man who had taken a fatal drug overdose – and then fired a nurse who tried to expose the mistake.  The suit was filed by former Roosevelt Hospital nurse Danna Novak.

NY Daily News reports that the homeless patient, Daniel Iverson, was well-known to the emergency room staff. He would wheel himself into the hospital, his prosthetic left leg lying across his lap, to complain about back pain or to persuade someone to let him sleep off his latest bender, court papers say.

When he came into the ER, he told Novak, the triage nurse, he was sick of living and had consumed 700 milligrams of morphine. She took his vitals, recorded a racing heart and low blood pressure, marked him “emergent” and rolled him to the resuscitation room. There, another nurse declared Iverson was faking it, the suit says. A second nurse berated Novak for being naive and said Iverson would have to wait for a doctor. After listening to the exchange, Iverson turned his wheelchair around and rolled out of the emergency room, Novak claims.

The next morning, a hot dog vendor found Iverson in his wheelchair outside the hospital, cold and gray. He was taken to the ER, where he was pronounced dead.

Novak declined to comment, but her suit alleges that the hospital tried to force her to quit and then fired her, claiming she left patients unattended. A hospital spokesman said Novak’s firing was not related to Iverson’s death.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/03/28/2011-03-28_nurse_lawsuit_fired_for_exposing_hospital.html#ixzz1IcPhITbB

Unfortunately, there’s little room for big hearts in a rigid healthcare business model.  Still, nurses like Novak are sticking to their convictions and performing their duties, giving patients the care they deserve. After all, nurses enter the profession because they want to help people. It’s easy to grow cynical in the healthcare profession, to be callous toward problem patients, but the real challenge is seeing beyond the hang-ups and staying true to the ultimate obligation of saving, not dumping, human lives.

Getting through Nursing School

March 25, 2011 at 5:18 am

It’s no surprise that student nurses in RN-BSN programs deal with a lot of stress getting through school.  Studies have even suggested that the stress levels in nursing are not only higher than they are in other academic programs, but also higher than their counterparts in medical school, pharmacology, and social work programs.

A nursing student has to juggle academic studies and clinical practice on top of work and their personal lives.  This is often more difficult than it sounds because many nursing students are in the middle of changing or advancing in their careers.  They tend to be older and more mature, dealing with their own children, aging parents, and personal predicaments.

We may have heard this all before, but in this stressful world we live in, we never get enough reminders to take care of ourselves, nurses especially.  In order to maintain their physical and emotional health, nursing students need to consider different ways of dealing with stress and managing their personal, academic, and professional lives.  After all, how can nurses take care of so many other people when their own health suffers from stress?

Fran Roberts of ScrubsMag provides a comprehensive list of advice for nursing students coping with stress.  Here is a condensed version:

1. Eat right. The body metabolizes more during stressful times, meaning you may be hungrier more often, but without proper planning you might find yourself making poor food choices. Because the nursing profession is largely comprised of women, it’s not surprising that eating disorders are prevalent in the profession. Eat five or six small meals a day, drink plenty of water and be conscious of choosing whole foods, with an emphasis on fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

2. Adopt smarter study habits. Nursing students are frequently encouraged by faculty to study in groups. While this is sometimes helpful and constructive, it can also lead to “group anxiety.” The stress levels of individual students can begin to mount and actually accelerate within study groups. So determine what works best for you. You may find that quizzing each other in groups while preparing for tests works well, but reading difficult chapters and articles is best done alone and isolated in a quiet, undisturbed place.

3. Pace yourself. At the beginning of a term or semester you generally know what your student workload will be. Resist the temptation to procrastinate completing assignments, which frequently results in the dreaded and extremely unhealthy “all-nighter.” Remember, you’re not a history major who can sleep the entire next day. More than likely you’ll have to show up at a clinical assignment the morning after your marathon event!

4. Get centered, physically and emotionally. Nurses are masters at multitasking—and often the trade-off of this mastery is sacrificing “me” time. Although it might seem impossible, carve out a minimum of 30 minutes a day for yourself. Spend this time wisely—incorporate a physical activity such as walking or yoga, set an intention for the day that helps you maintain your focus and spend some time in meditation. If you’ve never tried meditation or yoga, try a physical inversion (simply put, turn yourself upside down or do a deep forward bend). It increases blood flow and helps you rest better and think more clearly.

5. Love your profession. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll get upset. You may break down in front of professors and colleagues. But remember, you’re entering into one of the most admired and important professions in the world. Without you, the healthcare system would fail. As you go through your studies, keep this in mind, and think about what you want to do next. An attitude of lifelong learning will help you gain confidence and enhance your position in the workplace.

Completing your RN-BSN degree will be one of the most rewarding and exciting stages in your life as a nurse.  But to get to that point in one piece – and to move forward in your nursing career – you need to maintain your personal well-being.  When in doubt, or under the load of stress, remember that the first person you need to take care of, is you.

For more details on how to get through nursing school, please visit ScrubsMag.com



Nurses Working in Hospitals are More Likely to Experience Burnout

February 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm

          Once you finish nursing school or get your BSN degree, it’s time to seriously consider what type of job you would like to pursue. (Actually, you’ve probably been thinking about this during each of your nursing classes.) Private practice, hospitals, nursing homes, or government agencies all provide different nursing experiences.
          According to a recent study published by a group of professors at the University of Pennsylvania, they found that “among nurses working directly with patients, 24 percent of hospital nurses and 27 percent of nursing home nurses reported dissatisfaction in their current jobs, compared to just 13 percent of nurses working in other settings.” The reason for these high percentages are due to “the work environment and staffing levels [which] are chronic stressers that cause burnout. Nurses working under those conditions feel over-extended and depleted of emotional and physical resources.”
          This survey was rather detailed as 95,449 nurses in 614 American hospitals and healthcare settings were interviewed. An interesting fact they discovered was that “nearly 41 percent were dissatisfied with their healthcare benefits- more than double that of nurses working elsewhere showing broad-based disincentives for attracting nurses to work at the bedside… 41 percent of hospital nurses and 51 percent of nursing home nurses who provide direct patient care were dissatisfied with their health care benefits. Nearly 60 percent of nurses in nursing homes and half of nurses in hospital are dissatisfied with retirement benefits.”
          Another finding that I found interesting but not surprising was that the more dissatisfied the nursing staff is, the lower the opinion the patient has of the hospital. “Researchers found that the percentage of patients who would definitely recommend a hospital to friends or family decreased by about 2 percent for every 10 percent of nurses at a hospital reporting dissatisfaction with their job.” I thought the rate would be in higher as patients could feel the negative feelings of the unsatisfied workers, but I’m still surprised that the percentages relate in direct proportion.
         The findings also stated that the more disenchanted nurses are with their benefits and working conditions, the higher the burnout rate. I think the key here is to find a job you love and remember why you went into nursing. Another key factor is to interview current nursing staff at the place you would like to work. If they hate it, you might too. But, you may have to trudge through it to get your foot in the door.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.nursezone.com/Nursing-News-Events/more-news/Penn-Study-Shows-Hospital-Nurses-Dissatisfied-with-Health-Benefits_36274.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NursezonecomNursingNews+%28NurseZone.com+Nursing+News%29