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Nurses’ Patience with Patients Earn Trust

Monday, January 11, 2016 at 6:22 am

Good news, nursing students! According to a 2015 Gallop poll on Honesty and Ethics, the top of the list once again belongs to those in the nursing professions, and the competition isn't even close. With a rating of 85%, American nurses score well above doctors, law enforcement, teachers, and even clergy.

According to Judy Halstead, president of the National League for Nursing, "I think the public responds to nurses' long-standing, demonstrated commitment to patient-centered care, which includes patients and their families and significant others. They trust that nurses will listen to their concerns and serve as an advocate for their needs."

Almost anyone who's ever visited a hospital or clinic can vouch for the reassuring presence of their nurses. While the doctors are often spread thin between patients and long work hours, it's the nurses we see from the moment we walk in the door till the time we're checked out. They're the voice that tells us that it's all going to be okay.

And the medical profession is hiring good nurses just as fast as they can find them.

While this news is a great testament to the nursing profession as a whole, it also comes with a challenge to those planning on entering the field. With great trust comes great responsibility (to paraphrase a popular superhero movie), and it's up to future nurses to continue to uphold that trust.

That's why it's important that as you move through your Nursing courses at Unitek College, remember to look at everything from two perspectives—a medical perspective, and a patient's perspective. Try and anticipate the information they'll want to know on a day-to-day basis and make sure you know how to explain it in plain English. Keep in mind that many of the people you'll be treating as a nurse could have some significant anxieties about being in your hospital or clinic (check out White Coat Syndrome for an interesting perspective on patient anxiety). The more confident and knowledgeable you are in your job, the better those patients will feel, and you'll quickly become an invaluable part of their medical journey.

So here's to nurses topping the list again for the fourteenth time since 1999! And here's to the future nurses reading this blog right now—we know you'll continue the legacy.

For more information on advancing your nursing career, check out Unitek College's nursing programs here. And if you're interested in pursuing a career in the Pharmaceutical field (2nd place on the Gallop Poll on Honesty and Ethics) you can find that information here.

New Year Career Resolution

Friday, January 1, 2016 at 5:37 am

Congratulations on making it through another year, and here's to a whole new year of possibilities! If you're one of the thousands of Unitek College students headed to classes this January, you're already working towards one of those possibilities—the prospect of a new career—and while you may already have a list of New Year's resolutions stuck to your fridge, we wanted to offer a few additional ideas for consideration. To help make this year's studies a success, here are our top seven New Year's resolutions for hard-working students.

  1. Stay Ahead Of Schedule – The hardest time to course correct is when you're already running behind on projects and homework, so make it a point today to get ahead and stay ahead of your class work. There may be penalties for turning in work late, but there's nothing at all wrong with finishing a project a few days early. Make proper scheduling a habit now, and you'll thank yourself towards the end of the year.
  2. Make A Budget – Financial stress has a way of eclipsing everything else in your life, and it can sap a lot of the energy and focus you could be putting towards your classes. Put a budget together at the beginning of the year and make it a resolution to stick to it. You'll breathe a lot easier when you know exactly what's in the bank.
  3. Stay Hydrated – This one may seem like it's out of left field, but stick with us: proper hydration is directly linked to keeping your brain functioning at the levels you need for your classes. But drinking the correct amount of water is something you'll need to make a habit, otherwise it's easy to forget. Make a resolution to get those necessary glasses of water down every day, and you'll thank us for it!
  4. Make Your Bed Every Day – This may seem like another strange one, but there's a great reason behind it. According to Navy Admiral William H. McCraven, "If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed." (You can see his entire speech here.)
  5. Works Towards Your Career – Working towards graduation is great, but it's what happens after graduation that can turn your Unitek College certification into a new career. Approach every class with that dream job in mind—ask questions, pay extra attention to the information you feel like you'll use regularly, and don't let a single day of classes go to waste.
  6. Make a Friend in Every Class – Not only is this a good resolution for your social life, but you also gain an ally in your quest for graduation. Having connections in each class means having someone you can rely on for missed notes, study questions, help with projects. It also means building connections for the future—once you've locked down that Unitek College certification, the more friends you have in your chosen career field, the more job opportunities you'll be able to find.
  7. Enjoy The Ride – Make it a resolution to enjoy every day of your journey. Some days will be harder than others, but you never get to live the same day twice. Find the joy in what you're learning, and chances are, you'll find the same joy in your future career.

Did you make a resolution to find a new career, to go back to school, or just to learn a new skill? Check out the many programs Unitek College offers in 2016, and if you see any you like, give us a call!

12 Last Minute Gifts of Unitek

Monday, December 21, 2015 at 6:40 am

Well folks, believe it or not, Christmas is just a few days away. If you're anything like us, it feels like we just finished cleaning up the wrapping paper from last year. Thanks for being a part of the Unitek College family this year, and we sincerely hope that this holiday season you get to savor those moments of family, friends, gifts, and peace. To commemorate the season, we've put together a list of last minute gift ideas for the Unitek College student in your life. Enjoy the read, and feel free to sing along.

12 Bagged Lunches – You know, for those busy days at their Unitek College externships. They're getting real world, on-the-job experience, and that type of experience doesn't always pause long enough to get to a diner.

11 Ink Cartridges – The printer make and model may vary, but printing out resumes burns through ink quickly, and the moment that Unitek College graduates complete their programs, they've got a multitude of career possibilities just waiting for their resumes.

10 Pairs of Scrubs – If their training is in Medical Assisting, Dental Assisting, or Vocational Nursing, chances are, they're going to need more than a few pairs of scrubs for the new career.

9 Personal Favors – Nine may seem like a lot, but when that Unitek College graduate locks down their Information Technology certificate, their return favors are going to be a lot more valuable. Monitor on the fritz? Downloaded a virus? There's two favors right there. Rack up as big a balance as you can!

8 Shows on DVR – When you're studying for a brand new career opportunity, things like TV shows move to the background. But one of the biggest perks of a holiday is the opportunity to binge watch everything you missed.

7 Ways To Succeed As A Dental Assistant – Okay, this one isn't really a gift but a shameless plug for one of our earlier blog posts. Maybe you could frame it?

6 Cans of Soda – When you're getting your nursing training online (like Unitek College's RN to BSN degree), it can mean some late hours of studying and online classes. A few ounces of delicious caffeine will almost always come in handy.

5 Gold Rings – This is the only line from the original song we kept, because really, how do you top gold rings? Water fowl and pear trees are pretty easily replaced, but gold still holds up nicely in the 21st century.

4 Job Leads – Locking down that Unitek College graduation certificate is a huge step in the direction of a new career opportunity, but graduates still have a job hunt ahead of them. Word of mouth referrals are some of the most valuable information available, and it's possible you may have connections or insight that your graduate might not tap into otherwise. Share what you know, it may be just what they need to land that shiny new job.

3 Travel Mugs – It's a straight shot commute to the Unitek College campuses, but that does mean a hot cup of coffee can't make the drive a little easier. And we say "three” mugs because, let's face it, one always gets lost and the other disappears under the passenger seat for three months.

2 Comfortable Shoes – Pharmacy Technician graduates have some promising job prospects ahead of them, and many require standing on their feet for long hours. With that in mind, why not give them something to cushion those heels a little?

1 Big Congratulations – Going back to college takes a lot of guts, determination, sacrifice, and perseverance. Your Unitek College graduate put a lot on the line in their efforts to build a better career, and that always deserves a handshake, a pat on the back, a hug, or all three.

Women in Information Technology

Friday, December 18, 2015 at 9:47 am

If you're a woman preparing to enter Unitek College, and you're studying the course offerings before choosing the direction of your new career, you might want to take a second look at Information Technology. Long story short, they need you! While the numbers are improving, IT tends to be a male-dominated field, and even though women make up nearly 60% of the U.S. workforce, the numbers of women in the IT departments of most major companies hover around a mere 20%. And a large contributor to the low number of women in IT is the low number of women who complete IT programs at colleges and universities across the country... another number that hovers around 20%.

In other words, there's a huge opportunity that exists for female workers in Information Technology, and the first step towards closing that gap and seizing those career opportunities is starting (and finishing) a Information Technology certification program (such as the ones offered at our Concord, Sacramento, and Fremont campuses). The IT field needs women, and filling that need starts with the right education.

And remember, if it weren't for women in Information Technology, there might not be Information Technology-at least, not the way we know it today. Just take a glance into the life of Lady Ada Lovelace, considered one of the first (if not the first) computer programmer. A writer and mathematician in the early 1800's, Ada Lovelace is best known for her work on Charles Babbage's early model of the mechanical computer, the "Analytical Engine"-work she began as a teenager. Her mathematical algorithm for the mechanical engine is considered to be the first computer program. And when Babbage himself began working on algorithms, Ada became the first debugger when she caught and corrected the first "bug" in his formula.

Despite an early death from cancer at the age of 36, Ada Lovelace presented the world with a vision of the capability of computers that went far beyond mere calculation, imagining the limitless possibilities just waiting to be realized. Her "poetical science" approach helped her see beyond the numbers and formulas to the very real impact that these discoveries would have on individuals and society as a whole. Intuition and imagination were just as vital to her work as were sines and cosines, and every click of a mouse today can be traced back to that influence.

This love of numbers and computing didn't just happen, however, but were the result of studying science and mathematics from a very early age (something we can all thank her mother for). Those studies led to her breakthrough, which led to an undeniable influence on modern computing regardless of age or gender.

Information Technology, like all career fields, needs diversity in order to innovate, imagine, and grow, which is why Unitek College welcomes and encourages all applicants. The status quo won't change by itself, and we're here to provide you with the skills you need to become part of that change.

For more information on our Information Technology program, click here.

Student Holiday Gift Ideas

Monday, December 14, 2015 at 9:32 am

Unless you knocked out all your holiday shopping on Black Friday, chances are you still have a few "perfect gifts" to track down. But rather than let that take your focus away from the important things (like family and finals), we've put together a few creative ideas to help you along as you search for just the right present for that special Unitek College student.

  • A good book is the obvious gift idea, so we'll get that out of the way first. If you ask a student what they want, chances are, this is the answer they'll give. And hey, it's versatile, easily wrapped, and you know for a fact that they won't return it. But cold, hard cash can also be a bit impersonal, and doesn't exactly qualify as creative.
  • Restaurant Gift Cards are a step up from cash. As any student can tell you, very few things are more appreciated than a great meal, and when you pay with a gift card, there's no reason to feel guilty for the expense. These gift cards let you be a little more personal (choosing their favorite restaurant or fast food chain, for example), but if you want something a little more fun, read on.

If you're shopping for a student in the Unitek College vocational nursing, pharmacy technician, dental assisting, or medical assisting programs, they might be interested in one of these:

  • A good book - Students (especially students in medical fields) have their noses in books all season long, so if you're buying them another book, make sure it's a good one. One we've come across recently is The Anatomist, which tells the story of the men behind Gray's Anatomy (the book, not the TV show). It's part memoir, part biography, and all "arrestingly beautiful" according to Publishers Weekly.
  • A good game - All those medical classes and lab hours can keep a student's brain running at full throttle, but a good, engaging game can sometimes be just the ticket for unwinding. You'll want something smart, something challenging, and something fun. And if you can tie it into their medical interests, even better. One such game is the best-seller Pandemic, which pits players against a virus.
  • A good memento - Some of the best gifts don't serve any purpose other than reminding the receiver that someone cares about them-something they can set on a shelf and smile at as they grab their textbooks in the morning. For example, we got a kick out of the stuffed germs at GiantMicrobes.com. If you can think of something that says "Merry Christmas to our favorite nurse" more than a stuffed Common Cold wearing a Santa hat, we're all ears!

If you're shopping for a student in the Unitek College Information Technology program, here's a few that caught our attention:

  • Clutter Organizers - Keeping that desk or work station tidy can be a bit of a chore sometimes, especially with so many wires and computer accessories snarling across the surface. So any gift that can help bring some order to the chaos will always be appreciated. Check out the U-Board on Amazon for example-not only does it organize, but it comes with USB ports, a smartphone slot, and even a cup holder!
  • Gadgets - are always a fun choice, and really, the sky is the limit. We've seen something called the iBell that turns your smartphone into an old fashioned alarm clock. A tiny desk refrigerator that plugs into your computer's USB. A virtual reality viewer made out of cardboard. If you can dream it up, it's probably out there. And if you need help hunting, the folks at ThinkGeek.com have some pretty great ideas.
  • Some binge-watching material - Sometimes the best way to unwind after class is to jump on the couch, grab the remote, and binge-watch a new favorite show. Again, the sky is the limit here, but if you want something that fits into the IT field, check out the British comedy The IT Crowd-a must-see for anyone who's ever had to use the phrase "Did you try turning it off and on again?"

And of course, while you can't wrap it, the greatest gift you can give your Unitek College student is the gift of encouragement. They've taken a huge leap towards a promising new career in some of the fastest growing career fields in America, and they've committed their time, money, talents, and energy to pursuing one of those new positions. So whether you find the "perfect" thing to put under the tree or not, be sure and give your Unitek College student a hug, a handshake, or just a smile. Let them know you're proud of them. We know we sure are.

Happy Thanksgiving From Us to You!

Monday, November 23, 2015 at 6:55 am

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we here at Unitek College have a lot to be thankful for this year. So as classes begin winding down towards a finish, decorations begin filling every visible window, and the scent of turkey and cranberries starts filling the air, we thought we'd take a moment to look back on some of the things we're most thankful for this year.

Things such as our new Unitek College Dental Assisting program, which we successfully launched this year. It's not easy getting a brand new program off the ground, but our faculty and staff worked tirelessly to get it done, and their efforts paid off. We're also thankful for those students who stepped up to become the first official class of Unitek College certified Dental Assistants. You're a huge part of our success and we couldn't have done it without you. We can't wait to see where you go from here.

We're also thankful that our Unitek College family continues to grow as the NCP College of Nursing came under our wing. The NCP College of Nursing didn't just expand our campus offerings, but they brought along 17 years of experience in medical teaching. Together, we're now one of the largest bodies of pre-licensure health care students and graduates in the Bay Area, and those numbers get bigger every day.

While we're talking about growth, our new Concord campus definitely belongs on our list of Thanks. Not only is Concord a beautiful city, but the new location introduces us to a whole new community of potential students we might not have met otherwise. And we didn't start small in Concord. Dental Assisting, Vocational Nursing, Pharmacy Technician training, Information Technology, Medical Assisting... we packed all of these programs into the new location, and we expect big things from the students who take advantage of them.

And finally, we're thankful to the faculty who make learning at Unitek College possible. Our faculty members are highly trained in their fields, and they chose to use that training and experience to introduce a whole new crop of nurses, medical assistants, dental assistants, computer support technicians, and more to the world. Henry Adams once wrote that "Teachers affect eternity; no one can tell where their influence stops", and that's the way we see ours. And of course, this thanks also extends to the outside professionals who so generously open their businesses for our students' externships. The opportunity to learn outside the classroom or the lab is an incredible one, and one that adds that extra quality to a Unitek College education.

And so, from all the faculty, staff, administrators, and advisors here at Unitek College, we wish all our students (current, prospective, and past) a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Drive safely, eat well, and come back recharged and ready to finish up the rest of the year.

Thanks!