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Take a break and smell the roses

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Whether you’re in class, learning in the field with your dental assisting externship, or building practical experience in the Unitek College Dental Assisting Lab, one thing is the same: you’re working hard. When you’re working towards a possible new career in the Dental Assisting field, it’s easy to get caught up in studies, projects, and exams, and there’s nothing at all wrong with working hard to meet your career goals. But it’s also important to take moments when possible to “rest your brain”, refuel, and refocus. Fortunately, if you’re studying at our Sacramento campus, you’ve got plenty of options. Here are a few ideas on how to spend your valuable down time.

Smell the Roses in MSmell the RosescKinley Park – Literally. McKinely Park is home to one of Sacramento’s famous rose gardens, a must-see if you’re the type of person who needs to get outdoors to clear your head. The rose garden features free admission and takes about 30-minutes to see start-to-finish. There’s also a jogging track, plenty of play areas for kids, and the park is dog-friendly if your furry roommate needs a break as well. We’re told April is a particularly nice time to visit.

Coast Along the American River Bicycle Trail – Considered one of the best bicycle trails in the country, the American River Bicycle Trail winds its way through the Sacramento area and is available only for non-motorized visitors… which is great news for students who enjoy biking without worrying about distracted drivers. It’s a quick way to forget that you’re in the middle of a city. Look for beautiful river views, quiet forests, and occasional wildlife… but if possible, avoid the trails around midday on the weekends. They can get crowded!

Shop in Old Sacramento – Nature not your thing? Check out the cobble-stone streets of Old Sacramento. There’s a little something for everyone, whether you like museums, food, or shopping (they have a great mix of old-timey shops plus a few modern boutiques). If you play your cards right, you’ll come back from your visit an expert on California Gold Rush history.

Catch a Movie – There are lots of ways to watch a movie, and Sacramento has all of them. Check out a concert or catch a classic movie at The Crest. Or combine entertainment with the great outdoors and see a blockbuster at the Sacramento 6 Drive In. Need a little more “oomph” in your films? The Esquire Imax Theater just got an upgrade (and we hear the new seats are very comfy).

Chow Down with a Food Tour – Foodies, we didn’t forget about you. And hey, who can study on an empty stomach? Check out the Local Roots Food Tours for a personalized tour of some of the best restaurants, cafe’s, and watering holes off the beaten path. Or satisfy the sweet tooth with a tour of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Whether you’re on your own, with kids, or with pets, the Unitek College Sacramento campus is surrounded by activities, attractions, food, and unique experiences. We all need a break from studies at one point or another, and our Dental Assisting students have a world of opportunities from which to choose. Don’t forget to let us know some of your favorites!

Chief Academic Officer Says San Francisco Needs 14,000 Nurses By 2020

Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5:58 pm

From candy striper to naval nurse to chief academic officer, Christy Torkildson’s passion has always been nursing. Hailing from Brooklyn and Miami, Torkildson worked as a candy striper at the local Children’s Hospital and knew that she had found her calling. She currently serves as chief academic officer for Unitek College and NCP College of Nursing, overseeing all academic programs and administering Unitek’s CCNE-accredited (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) RN to B.S.N. nursing program to over 1000 students at five campus locations.

Christy Torkildson

Unitek College CAO, Christy Torkildson

What is your background and education?

“I have a B.S. and M.S. in Nursing, with an emphasis on administration and education, and will soon be defending my Ph.D. in Family Nursing and Health Policy at UCSF. I’ve worked Neuro ICU, Oncology, Neonatal ICU, OB, Pediatrics as well as working as clinical specialist, nursing informatics and house supervisor. I began as a Navy nurse and was the first program director for George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro, the first pediatric end-of-life and transitional care facility for children and their families in the country. I started teaching as a part-time clinical adjunct professor in 1990 and have been teaching ever since.”

What is your outlook on the health care industry in San Francisco for jobs?

“The country is facing a nursing shortage – the workforce is expected to grow by over half a million by 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area – impacted by an aging population, the Affordable Care Act as well as having a concentration of world-class medical institutions –will need over 14,000 nurses by 2020. Is the investment worth it? RNs in San Francisco make $91,000+ a year compared to the national average of $65,000. There’s also the need for qualified nursing instructors where graduate degrees are required.”

What career advice can you offer to students interested in a career in health care?

“The health care field is full of opportunities from direct patient interaction to supportive services. I decided what kind of nursing I wanted to do by volunteering as a candy striper. Attend career fairs and college open house events where you can talk to individuals working in the diverse fields of health care and nursing and speak directly to health care professionals about their experiences and education.”

 
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

Source: Yahoo.com

 

Nursing Rules from Around the World

Friday, January 28, 2011 at 12:35 am

          Nurses all around the world have one thing in common: a passion for helping others. But it’s amazing how this profession and some of its guidelines vary so much from country to country. I found an interesting article on scrubsmag.com that I found amusing and hope you do, too.
          Marijke Durning writes about 10 nursing rules that you’ve probably never heard of. These are my top five:
1. Nurses can’t be obese in Japan – “In 2008, the Japanese government decreed that its citizens had to slim down to reduce the chances of developing lifestyle-related diseases, such as metabolic syndrome—or metabo, as they call it there.”
2. In Canada, it’s illegal to put caffeine in clear sodas – So if you’re working a double, night shift or overtime, forget downing that Mountain Dew.
3. Overtime doesn’t always equal extra pay – “In states like California, it’s the law for overtime work to be paid at overtime pay (time and a half). This is for all employees who work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Of course, this is adapted in the healthcare setting, where nurses often work 12-hour shifts.”
4. The government buys your uniforms in the United Kingdom – “In mid-2010, the country’s estimated 36,000 nurses and midwives began wearing standardized colors, according to their level of nursing. In response to complaints from patients and others being unable to tell who was who, a color code was established.” On one hand, it would be great not having to buy scrubs. On the other hand, being told what to wear is a little like being a student in private school.
5. Learn you manners – “If you’re working over the weekend at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex, England, you could—without reprimand—ignore a doctor’s order for blood tests if he (or she) doesn’t write ‘please’ on the requisition…. A spokesperson said this was implemented in order to ease pressure on other healthcare personnel by making the doctor think twice about writing the order.”
         If you’d like to join the medical field and you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara or Sacramento, consider Unitek College. You will gain the skills and knowledge you need to know to be successful in this important sector (and you’ll also learn the rules that you NEED to know!)

For more information, please go to:
http://scrubsmag.com/10-nursing-rules-youve-never-heard-of/2/

Most Interesting Nursing Jobs

Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm

          Nursing is an exciting profession. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many TV programs which take place in a hospital, right? From Doogie Howser, M.D. to Scrubs, the medical profession has provided fodder for entertainment for decades.
          Okay, so you can’t always trust what you see on the flat screen… but nursing is an interesting profession when you think about the cases that walk through the hospital or clinic doors and the life or death situations that are presented on a daily (if not hourly) basis. According to scrubsmag.com, here are the top ten “coolest” jobs in nursing:
1. Holistic Nursing – This area involves massage and alternative treatments. The “excitement” intro to this article didn’t appeal to you? Well, this is the opposite. Relaxation and meditation soothe the body and mind.
2. Nursing Informatics – Are you a techie? Hospitals are always looking for ways to run smoothly and more efficiently. Should all charting be done on an iPad?
3. Forensic Nursing – CSI fans, this is for you. This is a mix of medical knowledge applied to law enforcement.
4. Outcomes Management – Scrubsmag.com describes this area as “Measuring quality – length of stay, quality of care, and utilization – can get you a job working for a health insurance company or hospital system.”
5. Fitness Nursing – Rehab, surgical recovery or at a health spa, there are several places to apply your skills.
6. Entrepreneur and Consultant (Self Employed) – “CPR training, adult day care, staffing agencies, educational companies, and more. Being a nurse entrepreneur is a broad field that is constantly changing and growing,” scrubsmag.com explains. The only limitation is what you can imagine.
7. Medical Esthetics Nurse – Everyone wants to look younger and better. Botox, chemical peels and collagen are just the tip of the iceberg as countless people are searching for the fountain of youth.
8. Faith-Based Nursing – These nurses pray with their patients tending to their bodies as well as their souls.
9. Insurance Nursing – “Is answering the ask-a-nurse advice line your strength? Or perhaps you’re into writing wellness newsletters, running education programs for insurers, or monitoring outcomes data.” If so, than Scrubs Magazine thinks this job just might be for you!
10. Assisted Living and Long Term Care – As hospitals move patients out of their beds in a shorter amount of time, these patients are being moved to care facilities.
          If you’re thinking about becoming a health care worker, now is the time to join this exciting field which offers a ton of different experiences. You may want to look into a school like Unitek College if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can get a quality education in a minimal amount of time.
For more information, please visit:
http://scrubsmag.com/10-most-exciting-jobs-in-nursing/

Wages Increase in 2011 for Health Care Professionals

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 7:11 pm

What?!? In an economy of layoffs and budget cuts, health care professionals are getting a pay increase??? Yep, you read it right.

According to an article in www.fabulousnurse.com, there are several charts detailing the projected wages for  healthcare professionals in the upcoming 2011 year.

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants all provide basic patient care, such as feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, and moving patients between rooms. Employment for each is expected to grow 19% over the next eight years, a faster-than-average rate compared to the national average. The number of jobs are expected to grow by 2% in 2011 to total 1,552,600, with an annual median wage growth increase to $24,641.”

This is interesting to note since the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in November 2010, unemployment increased by 9.8 percent. In the countless reports posted on employment, health care is continually stated as being one of the few career paths on the rise. “According to the U.S. Institutes of Labor, the main reason for the growth is because the U.S. population that is moving into elderly homes is growing to record levels and is in greater need of physical and long-term care. In addition, the bad economy is forcing hospitals to discharge patients sooner than normal to less urgent patient care facilities where orderlies can take care of them.” explains the article in www.fabulousnurse.com. As Baby Boomers settle into their retirement years, the need for medical care is increasing proportionately.

LVNs are also in high demand. “Employment for this type of nursing has grown faster than the national average. The best job opportunities are in nursing care facilities and home healthcare services, with the overall number of jobs growing to nearly 1 million by the end of next year (2011). Just like other nursing jobs, the biggest demand for licensed practical and vocational nurses stems from the growth of the elderly population and the shift of after-surgery patient care from hospitals to nursing care facilities.”

If you’re thinking about becoming a health care worker, now is the time! You may want to look into a school like Unitek College if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can get a quality education in a minimal amount of time.

For more information on figures cited in this post, please visit the BLS.gov note on 2011 wages http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm.

 

 

How to Handle Stress

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Any job comes with it’s fair share of trials and stress, but nursing seems to be a career choice that has more than average. When you’re treating a patient, the stakes are immensely high and many times it’s not just the physical needs that you are addressing but the stress of the heart and mind , too.

In The Journal of Advanced Nursing, Dr. Andrew McVicar addresses the difficulties that nurses face on a day to day basis. “Workload, leadership/management style, professional conflict and emotional cost of caring have been the main sources of distress for nurses for many years, but there is disagreement as to the magnitude of their impact. Lack of reward
and shiftworking may also now be displacing some of the other issues…” Although many fields have the same first three causes of stress as nurses face, the emotional factor takes a huge toll, not to mention the added skills that nurses must possess such as, “a high level of skill, teamworking in a variety of situations, provision of 24-hour delivery of care, and input of what is often referred to as ‘emotional labour.’”

I think that facing life and death situations is immeasurably stressful for nurses who are just starting out. Many nursing students have told me the stories of the first time they experienced the passing of a patient. Guilt, regret, and grief are just a few of the emotions that fill their minds beyond the time when they clock out of their shift; stress is not something relegated to the workplace.

So how can you cope with the pressures of nursing? According to Emil Vernarec in his article “How to Cope With Job Stress,” one should “either alter our external environment or alter our response to stress. Three personal factors in particular affect that response: how we interpret the stresses we face, our degree of social support, and our general state of health. The more we take control of those factors, the better able we’ll be to focus on resolving the sources of stress instead of feeling powerless against them.” He also mentions that seeking out role models and asking how they deal with stress could be helpful. Peer support is vital too in relieving stress and so is taking care of yourself through eating right, participating in a hobby or getting that much needed massage.

With budget cuts, staffing shortages and health care changes, the nursing profession is not going to get any easier. Knowing how to cope with stress and preventing burnout is vital!

For more information, please go to: http://www.journalofadvancednursing.com/docs/0309-2402.2003.02853.x.pdf

http://www.cartercenter.org/news/documents/doc592.html