Stop the Bleed: School Nurse Saves Child After Freak Accident

Stop the Bleed: School Nurse Saves Child After Freak Accident

Stop the Bleed: School Nurse Saves Child After Freak Accident

Stop the Bleed: School Nurse Saves Child After Freak Accident

Accidents happen… just watch any episode of Chopped. We might not be able to prevent them 100% of the time, but we can prepare, and sometimes that preparation is all that stands between life and death. Such was the case for a 4th grader in Georgia this past week, when a tumble on the playground almost became a fatality.

Jennifer Leon Lopez, a student in Forsythe County, Georgia, was playing with her friends during recess when she fell. The fall alone might not have been so bad had another girl immediately landed on top of her. Her arm broke, and in the process, severed her artery.

Enter school nurse Kathy Gregory, who less than 24 hours previously had unpacked the school’s brand-new supply of a vital new tool—Stop the Bleed kits.

“I heard another teacher yelling for help, so that’s when I grabbed the Stop the Bleed Kit and rushed to Jennifer’s side,” she told Fox 5 Atlanta. “I am so thankful we had them. They were still in the box and I just grabbed the one on top and ran.”

The Stop the Bleed kits (which include gloves, tourniquets, and bandages) are designed to help first responders treat traumatic hemorrhaging (particularly after a major emergency such as a school shooting), which is exactly what Nurse Gregory needed at that moment. She applied the tourniquet and stopped the bleeding long enough to get Jennifer to the hospital. Once there, two surgeries successfully saved both her arm and her life.

“We got a note from the trauma doctors and they said the tourniquet made the difference in Lopez keeping her arm and her life,” Gregory said. “Because of that training, because of that kit, we saved a little girl’s life.”

Stop the Bleed kits have been around for years, but recent school shootings (such as the one in Florida) have renewed a call to equip all schools with the kits—to be used by both school nurses and by bystanders.

“When the American College of Surgeons looked back at the Sandy Hook school shooting, they found that some deaths could have been prevented if people on site were trained in basic bleeding control techniques,” explained Dr. Jeff Kerby, a professor of surgery at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham.

In many emergency situations involving a shooter, locations quickly go on lockdown—which may be effective in preventing more violence or the attacker from escaping, but is bad news for victims who need immediate care. Often a timely tourniquet makes all the difference between a serious injury and a fatality, and making sure that those tourniquets are available (with clear instructions and possibly even prior training) is certain to save lives.

Stop the Bleed training is also spreading across the country, with the goal of using doctors and nurses to train police officers and school nurses, who in turn train the teachers themselves.

For one little girl, that training and kit (plus one skilled school nurse) saved her life. And as the training and movement continue to spread, we hope to hear of many more needless deaths prevented.

Interested in beginning your own nurses training? Unitek College can help! Contact us today.

 

Accelerated Nursing Programs in California

Accelerated Nursing Programs in California

Searching for the right nursing program can be a confusing process. Before you pick a school, you’ll need to determine which type of nursing program is right for you. In many states, you’ll find various options, such as Vocational Nursing programs, ADN programs, and BSN programs. There are also accelerated nursing programs in California. All of these programs can be great choices, but some are more ideal than others when differing circumstances are taken into account.

The search for nursing programs in California

When you search for nursing programs in California, you’ll typically find a number of Vocational Nursing programs. The goal of these programs is to prepare students for the national licensing examination so that they may become Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in California. Unitek College offers a Vocational Nursing program at each of its seven campuses. This program combines more than 900 hours of applied training in simulations, labs, and healthcare facilities. Despite the comprehensive curriculum, it can be completed in as little as 12 months.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in California

RN programs and Associate Degree Nursing

RN programs in California are often synonymous with ADN programs. Associate Degree Nursing programs strive to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN license exam and entry-level employment as Registered Nurses. They can also be ideal entry points for LVNs that would like to become Registered Nurses. At Unitek College, LVNs can apply for Advanced Placement status in the ADN program. Those who gain Advanced Placement status are allowed to skip the first 4 semesters of the program. Without Advanced Placement status, the ADN program takes about 26 months to complete. However, General Education courses are entirely online.

Accelerated nursing programs in California

Accelerated nursing programs in California are designed for students who have already received a bachelor’s degree in another field. Graduates of these accelerated programs earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They typically are able to do so in 11 to 18 months, which means that students must manage a full-time course load. It can be a great choice for those that would like to earn a BSN in as little time as possible. However, it may not be the best choice if you have time constraints or need to work, as the class schedule is often a demanding one.

You may be asking yourself, what kind of students attend accelerated nursing programs? They are usually people who either return to college after embarking on another career, or they are students that did not choose nursing until their later college years. Because of this, there is often a good mix of students. Accelerated nursing programs are intense and fast-paced, which is good to keep in mind when selecting your school.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in California

Not be confused with RN-to-BSN programs

These accelerated programs should not be confused with RN-to-BSN programs, which are designed for current nurses that would like to advance their careers. RN-to-BSN programs usually take about two years to complete, but Unitek’s RN-to-BSN program can be completed in as little as 12 months.1 It features 100% online instruction, and up to 90 credits can be transferred. Ultimately, this is a degree-completion program that transitions Associate Degree RNs to Bachelor’s Degree RNs while preparing them for leadership roles.

Not only does a BSN typically grant RNs more opportunities, but it is often a prerequisite for other roles. These include teaching, consulting, research, and management roles. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), approximately 79% of employers strongly prefer nurses with a bachelor’s degree.2 Again, the best program for you depends on your goals, your constraints, and your needs. Accelerated nursing programs take less time to complete, but earning a BSN often gives Registered Nurses more opportunities.

Nurses are instrumental in the healthcare field

There’s no doubt about it; nurses are instrumental in the healthcare field. With the impending nursing shortage and the aging baby-boomer population, the field of nursing will continue to be in demand. Generally speaking, all types of nursing programs can be great choices. If you’re searching for RN programs in California, you have several different options. On the other hand, if you’d like to become a Vocational Nurse, you’ll find various options as well.

For more information about Unitek College, please check out our health care program pages or contact us at one of our seven campuses.

1 assuming maximum credit transfer
2 http://www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-workforce

Changes Ahead for Dialysis and Dialysis Nurses

Changes Ahead for Dialysis and Dialysis Nurses

Changes Ahead for Dialysis and Dialysis Nurses

Changes Ahead for Dialysis and Dialysis Nurses

Big changes could be headed to dialysis treatment centers near you, and that means big changes for the nurses who work there.

The field of nephrology tends to be a bright one for many nurses. For starters, the demand for nurses nationwide is high, but in this field, it’s especially high—with a 19% job growth expected through the year 2020. And while the job requires some additional certification and training, the payoff is high.

Many dialysis nurses enjoy “normal” work hours (since patients schedule dialysis during business hours and not overnight), and the nature of the job allows nurses to develop real relationships with their repeat patients—allowing that natural compassion and kindness to really shine.

“I highly encourage nurses who are looking for a job shift to consider dialysis because of the relationship factor,” says Elaine DeVoe, RN . “Patients bring a lot of issues with them, and you deal with the patient on a personal level. You treat the patient physically, mentally and sometimes spiritually.”

Location is also flexible for dialysis nurses. Some may work from hospitals, others from privately owned dialysis centers, while others may provide dialysis services to patients in the patient’s own homes.

But big changes could be ahead for the world of dialysis, and the catalyst is an electronic device about the size of a coffee cup.

This year (2018), an organization called The Kidney Project plans to begin human trials with the first artificial kidney, the Hemofilter, a surgically implanted device that would eliminate the need for a patient to undergo dialysis. This testing stage is a long time coming, as the Kidney Project hoped trials would begin early last year but funding and approval delays held them back.

“When we said clinical trials would begin in 2017, that was our most favorable scenario at the time,” according to the Kidney Project website. “Our projected timeline has always been dependent on obtaining the required funding, and not encountering unanticipated scientific hurdles. We finally raised sufficient money to complete preclinical trials for the Hemofilter just earlier this year. We are now working as fast as we can to complete the preclinical work and have started fundraising specifically for the clinical trials. As such, we have had to adjust our clinical trial timeline accordingly.”

Once approved and successfully tested, however, the Hemofilter could mean enormous changes for patients. The intrusive need for regular dialysis would disappear, as would traditional dialysis side effects (low blood pressure, nausea, cramping, and disorientation).

Patients are understandably excited. One patient, Tamara Clark, writes on the Kidney Project Facebook page “I have been on dialysis for 8 years now. I am so excited about implantable kidneys! This is the greatest advancement ever! I would love to be a test subject. At this point of my life I just can’t wait for them to be on the market. The chance to live dialysis free is enthralling.”

But even after the Hemofilter and other similar technologies hit the market, the need for dialysis nurses will remain. Not all patients will be able to afford the device, many won’t want to risk the surgery, and others may not be healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Others may just prefer the “usual way”. Whatever the reason, the need for hard-working, compassionate dialysis nurses shows no sign of waning any time soon.

“It’s rewarding to know the care you provide is literally life-saving,” says Joanna Rengstorf, RN. “When patients share stories about milestones and celebrations they were able to participate in, it is rewarding to know they are alive for those moments because of the dedication of those in my profession.”

If you’re interested in beginning your career in nursing, contact Unitek College today for more information.

Kate Middleton, Pope Francis Praise Nurses Worldwide

Kate Middleton, Pope Francis Praise Nurses Worldwide

Kate Middleton, Pope Francis Praise Nurses Worldwide

Kate Middleton, Pope Francis Praise Nurses Worldwide

When she isn’t busy capturing the heart of Britain, having royal children, or effortlessly setting fashion standards with her sister Pippa, the royal family’s Kate Middleton has another cause dear to her heart: promoting the importance of nurses worldwide.

This week, the Duchess of Cambridge visited a UK hospital, where she helped announce the launch of the international “Nursing Now” campaign, a three-year global campaign organized by the International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization. The campaign aims to raise the status of nurses worldwide, and ensure that they are “properly deployed, valued and included in policy and decision-making”—a goal which, if you are a nurse or studying to become a nurse, should sound pretty darn great.

“This campaign means a lot to me personally. My great-grandmother and grandmother were both volunteer nurses,” Kate said in her speech. “Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring. I have been struck today by the enormous range of responsibilities that nurses have, not only in providing access to healthcare, but also in terms of providing a holistic approach to caring for our physical and mental health.”

Kate has also become an official patron of the campaign. If you’d like to see and hear her speech launching Nursing Now, you can see it here.

Activities took place in countries all around the world, including the US, Switzerland, the UK, Jamaica, and others, all celebrating the contribution of nurses to world health, and looking forward to what nurses could accomplish in the near future. (You can watch the official launch here, but carve out some time… it’s over an hour and a half long, but worth it!) .

In an unrelated but equally valuable moment, another world figure also took the time this week to praise nurses: Pope Francis.

Nurses (whom he calls “experts in humanity”) are “truly irreplaceable,” the pope said. “Like no other, the nurse has a direct and continuous relationship with patients, takes care of them every day, listens to their needs and comes into contact with their very body, that he tends to.”

To add a personal aspect to his words, the pope shared the story of when a nurse (Sister Cornelia Caraglio) saved his life when he was just a 20-year old in Argentina.

“[She was] a good woman, even brave, to the point of arguing with the doctors. Humble, but sure of what she was doing,” the pope recalled. “Thanks to those things [she suggested], I survived.”

In a time when our shortage of nurses seems to be getting worse, public encouragement and recognition of nurses is more important than ever. We can’t wait to see what comes from the Nursing Now movement, and are always thrilled to see the hardworking nurses we know given the spotlight they so richly deserve.

For more information on beginning your own career in nursing, or advancing your current career, Unitek College is always happy to help. Contact us here for more information.

Nurse Runs Marathon for Children’s Heart Health

Nurse Runs Marathon for Children’s Heart Health

Nurse Runs Marathon for Children’s Heart Health

Nurse Runs Marathon for Children’s Heart Health

There were plenty of noteworthy stories this week in the world of medicine, such as the development of a new drug that could treat peanut allergies, and a study that says red wine may protect your oral health. But one particular story stood out, highlighting the lengths to which many nurses go for the causes near and dear to them.

Nurse Colby George of Massachusetts isn’t a marathon runner. At least, not yet. This year, however, she plans to make the 26.2 mile journey at the annual Boston Marathon—not for the prestige, but for her patients.

In 2013, a six-year old boy named Joseph Middlemiss died unexpectedly from cardiomyopathy—a disease of the heart muscle. “Joey’s infectious laugh, and curly-lashed blue eyes were never happier than the day his baby brother was born. His special heart held a wisdom and empathy far beyond his 6 years”, reads the homepage of the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation Inc. The non-profit foundation was created by Joey’s parents shortly after the young boy’s death, and raises funds to help with research and awareness of childhood heart issues.

Nurse George’s husband, Justin, was a first responder when Joey died, and ran the Boston Marathon last year for the foundation. But this year, Nurse George (herself a recipient of one of the Big Heart Foundation’s “Acts of Kindness”) couldn’t remain on the sidelines any longer.

“To run the marathon is just something that I’d like to accomplish because I didn’t think I’d ever be able to run a marathon,” George, 39, explains. “But to do it for their foundation — to raise awareness for their foundation — is really the main reason why I want to do it.”

And this year, it turns out, the decision to run is particularly timely. Five years after the death of their oldest son Joey, the Middlemiss family spent time back in the hospital as their four-year old son Jack underwent a heart transplant. Jack, also born with cardiomyopathy, made it through the surgery successfully, but the close call makes Nurse George’s decision to run seem all the more potent.

“Out of something awful, a beautiful friendship has evolved,” Joey’s mother, Kate Middlemiss, said Friday of the family’s bond with Nurse George and her husband. “It’s a connection that we will always have with them.”

According to the Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Registry, one in every 100,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 18 is diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. The majority of diagnosed children are under 12 months followed by children 12 to 18 years old. Pediatric cardiomyopathy is considered a rare disorder, and can be present at birth or have new onset at any age—with or without symptoms.

Colby begins her 26.2 mile run on Monday, April 16th (Patriot’s Day), and she hopes to raise at least $6,000 dollars this year for the Joseph Middlemiss Big Heart Foundation. You can follow her fundraising efforts (or make a donation) at this link.

No one wants to wind up in a hospital bed, but even through those sometimes tragic  circumstances, bonds between nurses and patients so often transcend distance, disease, and all other obstacles. And in cases like Nurse George and the Middlemiss family, sometimes those connections can have a ripple effect that touches more lives than either thought possible.

Best of luck in the race, Colby! We’ll be cheering for you.

For more information on a nursing program in California, or starting your own career as a nurse or medical assistant, contact Unitek College today for class enrollment information, convenient scheduling, and to find a campus near you.

Nurses’ Actions Go Viral

Nurses’ Actions Go Viral

Nurses’ Actions Go Viral

Nurses’ Actions Go Viral

These days, everything makes it onto the web. Everything. Whatever is happening, there’s a good chance that someone is standing nearby filming it on their phones, and within minutes, it’ll be online. And sometimes, that’s a good thing.

Take for instance the viral video from Ohio, which shows a nurse stopping on his way to work to save the life of a woman who’d stopped breathing after a car crash. 36-year old Keith Ezell was on his way to work when he heard the crash. Knowing every second counted, he quickly grabbed his respiratory mask and began administering CPR.

During the five-minute ordeal, Ezell was thinking “I have to get her back. She was turning blue. She had no pulse and I kept thinking she can’t die on me,” he recounts to KARE 11. And his hard work wasn’t in vain. The paramedics arrived, and Ezell heard the words he’d been praying for.

“They said they got a pulse! And I thought, my job is done. She gets to live,” Ezell says.

And one of the best parts of the video comes at the end, as the victim is taken away in an ambulance, Ezell can be heard saying “I got to go to work”, and leaving for the hospital. For him, the moment hadn’t been about heroics. It was about doing what needed to be done, then going to work to do it some more.

Another nurse to go viral this week is Florida nurse Katherine Lockler, who finally had enough with this year’s flu season. After a 12-hour night shift filled with influenza patients flooding her hospital and ER, Lockler sat in her car and recorded her frustrations with the lack of disease prevention she’d witnessed. Her seven-minute video was soon shared across social media, and Lockler’s plea has now been viewed over nine million times.

During the video, Lockler presents a barrage of information on how the flu is spread, the dangers of contracting it, statistics on the outbreak, and the importance of hygiene during flu season—all with the passion and perspective only a nurse can provide.

“When you come into emergency rooms where there are signs posted saying to wash your hands, and people don’t—or when you ask someone to put on a mask because they’re coughing and they refuse—that gets me a little frustrated!” Lockler tells PEOPLE. “The video was meant to be a public service announcement, but I wanted to do it in a light-hearted way.”

Lockler also makes an important point about relying on an emergency room for non-emergency situations during highly infectious times.

“I want to get the word out not to come into an area of high concentrated infection unless you are absolutely in need of it, such as a true emergency,” she says. “Most things can be done at a pediatrician’s office, or a minute clinic, or so many other facilities, not the emergency room.”

This year’s flu season has been the worst in over a decade.

We know there are countless wonderful things being done by nurses on a daily basis, and we’re always thankful for the chance to see some of them ourselves. So whether your work is seen by nine million people or by nine, keep up the good work out there!

For information on starting your own career as a nurse, Unitek College can get you started! Contact us today for more information. We have 3 types of nursing programs, located in California