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Five Exceptional Nurses Honored

From the oncology nurse who personally organized the biggest bone marrow drive in Arizona for her patient (finding a match for him and seven others), to the RN who chooses to work the night shift so that she can have more time to volunteer during the day – the five winners of the 10th Annual Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award epitomize care and sacrifice.

“Cherokee is thrilled to recognize distinctive healthcare professionals who not only are models for providing exceptional patient care, but who also influence and motivate their peers, and sometimes even entire communities,” said Michael Singer, CEO of Cherokee Uniforms. “We are very proud to honor all of those serving in these critical, often life-saving, professions who combine dedication, intelligence, skill and compassion to benefit thousands of patients every day.”

People like Barbianne Davis – the nurse who was the first responder to a massive fire and inspired a community to rally around the victims and their families – act out of selfless compassion, which is perhaps why they are so deserving of recognition. In this case, it comes in the form of a chiseled glass heart award and all-expenses paid vacations.

Linda Wyman-Collins – Grand Prize Winner (RN)

Linda Wyman Collins’s passion is for improving the lives of people like her, who suffer from hemophilia. Through countless educational, community and legislative efforts she is a true champion of the cause. Her commitment is such that she chooses to work the night shift in order to volunteer more than 1,000 hours each year during the day.

Jill Zuleg – Top National Winner (RN)

Nurse Jill Zuleg made the difficult decision to donate her son’s organs after a fatal accident, keeping him on life support until his organs could be used to save the lives of five others. She has since honored his sacrifice through the Kyle Zuleg Foundation which encourages organ donation.
Barbianne Davis – National Winner (RN)

While off duty, Barbianne Davis was the first responder to a massive fire in her town, triaging victims and firefighters until the break of dawn. She then continued to personally care for each victim and their families for weeks after fire, inspiring her community to do the same.

Sergeant Major Michael Robinson, Grand Prize Winner (VPN)

Michael Robinson is the pioneer for military nursing. In addition to innovating and educating in the field, he volunteers countless hours to improving military care and the care of veterans.

Korinne Ashlock, Top National Winner (LPN)

When Korinne Ashlock’s patient couldn’t find a bone marrow donor, she took it upon herself to find one for him. She organized the largest bone marrow drive in the state of Arizona that year, not only finding a match for her patient, but for seven other patients in need.

Source: www.inspiredcomfort.com

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Satisfied Healthcare Staff = Better Patient Care

A new study from Imperial Hospital in London, found that it is as important for non-clinical hospital staff to be satisfied with the quality of care they provide as it is for doctors to be satisfied, when it comes down to the success of the hospital.

“What this work does is demonstrate that staff satisfaction is correlated with organizational performance,” said Dr. Richard Pinder, the creator of the study. One of the reasons highlighted was that staff members are essential for raising and resolving quality care issues.

More than 60,000 doctors, nurses, administration and support staff from 147 hospitals in England were asked questions like whether or not they would recommend their institution to a friend and if they were personally happy with the care provided. Researchers then compared their answers to Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratios (HMSR).  The results surprised even the researchers: whether you were a secretary or a surgeon, your job satisfaction reflected in the hospitals performance.

Dr. Pinder speculated that standard measures of hospital effectiveness like HMSR may not be as reflective of the quality of care, as how hospital staff view it themselves, which could be a far more useful measure for patients.

“It’s difficult for patients to make decisions based on the intricacies of adjusted mortality rates,” Dr. Pinder explained,  “If you want to choose between two hospitals, knowing that 98 percent of doctors and nurses working there would recommend their hospital, compared with 60 percent elsewhere is a useful thing to know.”

Source: Imperial College London

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California, Bay Area do Right by Medical Assistants

Outside out of Fairbanks, Alaska, the highest paying metropolitan region for medical assistants is the San Francisco-San Mateo region according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Opportunities for medical assistants, who aid in almost every administrative and clinical duty for a variety of health practitioners, are growing rapidly according to the BLS, which predicts a 31 percent increase in jobs from 2010 to 2020 nationwide. California is the state with the largest number of medical assistants in the country, both overall and per capita, and will account for much of the growth during this decade.

Interestingly, while physician’s offices and hospitals employee the most medical assistants, nationwide, the highest paying industry is scientific research and development. If you are lucky enough to work as a medical assistant in this field you can expect to make nearly 25 percent more than those who work in doctor’s offices. Other high paying industries included dentistry and insurance agencies.

No matter how you slice the statistics, employment opportunities across California for medical assistants are prevalent. Wages in the state compare favorable when compared to the country, The need for medical assistants is here to stay, and California is a great place to be one.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Positive Outlook for Healthcare Jobs in 2013

Healthcare jobs of all kinds found their way into U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of the top 100 jobs of 2013, with dentist coming in at number one. Medical secretary, diagnostic sonographer, respiratory therapist, physical therapy assistant and dental hygienist all ranked among the top 25 jobs.

The one thing all these positions have in common is demand. Across the board, there is an immediate need for skilled healthcare workers, and that need is projected to increase over the next ten years, two major reasons why healthcare (and tech) jobs earned so many of the top spots. The rankings also considered factors such as stress level, work-life balance and salary, in addition to job security, unemployment rate and demand.

They also ranked the top 24 jobs in Healthcare for 2013. This year, along with the jobs you would expect (physician, dentist, pharmacist) a number of new, support roles appeared such as veterinary technician and diagnostic medical sonographer. According to US News & World Report, for medical positions, “the most occupational growth [is] expected among healthcare support jobs.”

Even if engaging people in conversation while you pick at their teeth with a metal hook isn’t for you, all in all, it looks like it’s a great time to be in healthcare.

Source: U.S. News and World Report

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Heroic NICU Nurses save Babies During Hurricane Sandy

There are many stories coming out of Hurricane Sandy, the monstrous storm that hit the East Coast last week.  One very touching story that comes to mind is the evacuation of New York University’s Langone Medical Center in New York City.  As the super storm crashed ashore, the power went out at the Medical Center and as if that wasn’t bad enough then the back-up generator failed as gallons of water flooded the basement. As the hospital went dark and essential life saving equipment stopped working, staff worked quickly but safely to evacuate their 300 patients.

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit some of the infants weighed less than two pounds. These babies required constant care as the nurses struggled to keep them alive.  Four babies could not breathe on their own, so initially received oxygen from battery powered respirators.  I’m sure everyone has seen the images by now when they brought out the most critical baby.  He just had abdominal surgery the day before, plus a cardiac defect, so was the first to be evacuated. The sense of urgency in this horrible situation when caring for an eight hour old infant is really hard to conceive.

The nurses did not panic, but functioned as professionals, staying calm. There were seven nurses and six doctors that managed to wrap these twenty babies in blankets and heating pads, while pumping air into their lungs as they slowly descended the dark stairway.

Claudia Roman expressed to ABC’s 20/20 her concerns worrying about tripping in the stairway as she carried “someone’s precious child and that would be unforgivable.*

Margot Condon was interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper as she explained this whole ordeal. These heroic nurses managed to move twenty babies down 9 flights of stairs in the dark. The nurses had to manually breath for these babies, watch their central IV lines and keep them warm. Margot stated each baby had a monitor but it was difficult to see them in the dark, so one nurse bagged the baby, while another nurse held the IV lines and the monitor. *

Medical students from across the city brought flashlights to help evacuate the hospital. Margot stated she was probably scared, but she still managed to remain calm. She further stated she remained focused on watching the breathing tube and the central IV line. “It was a beautiful thing – everyone helping each other.” Margot stated this was certainly the most dramatic experience in her 36 years of nursing experience. Ambulances were lined up just outside the hospital, so the babies were moved to various hospitals in the city that did have electrical power. *

If that’s not a story that brings a tear to your eye then I don’t know what would.  This is what being a nurse is all about, working as a team for the greater health of the patient. You love your job; you do what you have to do to help your patients in time of need, no matter what is going around you. Everyone’s quick decision making, teamwork and dedication to their patient helped in what could have made what was a major disaster much worse end up being one of the truly remarkable stories coming out of this storm.

There is a lesson to be learned from Hurricane Sandy and maybe this would be a good time to think about what you would do in this type of situation.  Whether you are a student nurse or an alumni it’s always good to make sure you as well as you place of employment have back up plans in place if an event like this were to happen.

Has this heroic story touched you?  Do you feel your calling is to be a nurse?  Unitek College offers Training in Vocational Nursing (LVN), Registered Nursing (LVN to RN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).  Contact us today at 888-735-4355 to see how you can get started on a very rewarding career as a nurse.


* Claudia Roman recalls on 20/20 her effort to evacuate 20 babies from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at NY University’s Langone Medical Center.  (Source: Heroes Among Us. 20/20. ABC News, New York. 11/2012. Television).

* Margot Condon explains to Anderson Cooper her role in the fight against time as she evacuates babies from New York University’s Langone Medical Center NICU.  (Source: Anderson Cooper 360º. CNN News, New York. 11/2012. Television).


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Unitek College Earns the Title of Military Friendly School

Military families are finding more options for higher education at Unitek College of California. G.I. Jobs magazine recently named Unitek College’s Fremont campus to its 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools®. Not every institute of higher education is qualified to be a military friendly school. G.I. Jobs reserves the prestigious title for just the top 15 percent of VA-approved, accredited colleges, universities and trade schools that fully support the G.I. lifestyle.

The school earned its military friendly stripes by providing exceptional educational programs and superior financial assistance for qualified U.S. service veterans and spouses. Unitek College is a nationally accredited school and particularly well-suited to military lifestyles.

Specific Unitek College courses directed to veterans and G.I.s would include Medical Assistant (MA), Pharmacy Technician (PT), Vocational Nurse (VN), Registered Nurse (LVN to RN), LVN to RN Transitional Associate Degree Nursing Program (ADN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Unitek College also offers training in the areas of Accounting, however, this programs is not yet eligible for VA funding.

Veterans looking to complete LVN training or LVN to RN training will find a wealth of educational resources and financial assistance at Unitek College. The school is wholly dedicated to the success of its students. In fact, an astonishing 92 percent of nurses who complete Unitek College’s RN course will also pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) — more than any other non-profit private vocational school in the area.

Abundant G.I. benefits are available to help service personnel and veterans stay in school, and Unitek College is a champion in this field. For example, the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill provides housing and financial support for qualified veterans and their families. Another helpful benefit is the Montgomery G.I. Bill, which provides up to 36 months of financial assistance toward higher education. Military survivors and dependents may benefit from the Dependents Education Assistance program, which can provide up to 45 months of financial funding for eligible students. Additionally, Unitek College proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program for G.I.s, wherein tuition monies donated by the school are matched by the Veteran’s Administration.

It is hard to imagine a more supportive environment for military families than Unitek College. Qualified G.I.s and veterans who desire a quality education can find a wealth of on-campus resources, expert guidance and financial assistance there. Unitek College well-deserves its designation as one of the top military friendly schools in the U.S.