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Pink garden roses in bloom

Take a break and smell the roses

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!

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Now is the Time to Become a Medical Assistant

In a tight economy, people are looking to get an education quick and they are not willing to spend half of a lifetime paying off student loans from universities or big name colleges. These are some of the reasons why many are going to medical assistant school.

According to USNews.com, the outlook on the medical assistant field is consistently going up. As reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), job growth in this field will be much faster than average, with excellent job opportunities. Also, the BLS acknowledges that medical assistants are among the fastest growing careers in the upcoming years.

USNews.com also describes the different roles that medical assistants will perform in a variety of health offices. “Typically they prepare patients to be seen by the physician. They record medical history and measure vital signs, such as height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate. Medical assistants also perform administrative duties, often reporting to an office manager.

“In larger practices, medical assistants may specialize. Administrative medical assistants update patient records, complete insurance forms and arrange for hospital admissions. They may greet patients, schedule appointments and process billing.

“Clinical medical assistants perform more direct patient care. They may collect laboratory specimens, assist physicians during examinations and sterilize medical instruments. Those with advanced training often draw blood, remove sutures and change dressings.”

With so many different roles that medical assistants play, it’s no wonder their demand is also on the rise. “The BLS predicts employment in this field will grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will occur as the result of the growth and aging of the population and associated demand for healthcare. Increasing use of medical assistants will allow physicians to see more patients.”

Another interesting fact from the BSL is that, “medical assistants held approximately 495,970 jobs; most worked in physicians’ offices. Other were employed by hospitals, other healthcare providers, outpatient care centers, and colleges and universities.”

The ability to get a Medical Assisting education is very attainable. So it’s obvious why so many are going back to school to get their certification as a medical assistant.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/careers/medical-assistants_10852.aspx

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Health Care Crisis is Devastating More Families

Within my circle of family and friends, I’m shocked at how many are ill and have been hospitalized recently. It feels like this strange windfall of crazy occurrences and out-of-the-ordinary circumstances. I can’t help but wonder if it’s the times we live in: are people sicker and stress is compromising our health more or is stress weakening our immune system therefore causing us to be sicker? Does worry make us sick or are we sick which gives us another thing to worry about and makes us weaker to handle situations?

In The Merced Sun Star, reporters Jocelyn Weiner, CHCF Center for Health Reporting and Ken Carlson also noticed that with the hardship of the economy, many families are being hit with serious medical conditions. “A health care crisis is sweeping the Central Valley, devastating middle-class and poor families and threatening to overwhelm the region’s fragile safety net.

“The deep recession has pushed the ranks of the uninsured here to unprecedented levels. At the same time, a dire state budget deficit has forced lawmakers to drastically scale back or eliminate key health care programs for the state’s poorest residents.”

Weiner and Carlson explain that across class lines, patients are struggling to get the medical attention they need. “Doctors and nurses at county and nonprofit clinics say they’re seeing mounting numbers of out-of-work professionals and laid-off blue-collar workers joining the chronically poor and undocumented in waiting rooms throughout the region… In the past few years, growing numbers of unemployed workers have added 700,000 to the ranks of the state’s uninsured, bringing the total to 7.1 million.”

“When people become uninsured, not only do they live sicker, they die younger, they’re one emergency away from financial ruin and there are very few options available,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, which advocates for affordable health care for all Californians. “It’s a tattered safety net that has gotten worse because of the budget crisis.”

How will this affect those who are medical assistanting, pharmacy technicians or Vocational Nursing? There is definitely a shortage of those in the health careers industry so there is more stability than in other professions. With the federal health care bill, ideally more government money will be designated to the uninsured, but with cutbacks and having taxpayers maxed out, we’ll just have to wait and see. If the government does pass this bill, more medical staff will be needed to treat the new individuals who were previously uninsured.

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Changing Technology Effects Health Care Industry

I got a new cell phone last month. Okay, so I’m a bit behind the times, but my husband insisted I turn in my old flip phone for one that accesses the internet, has an internal keyboard and has a million apps on it. I was hesitant to get a new one because my old phone just needed a new battery and with a new phone comes an instruction manual as thick as the Bible that sits on my nightstand. Now that I’ve had my new phone I must admit that I do like some of the more convenient features, but I still miss the simpler days where all I wanted it for was to dial home.
So what does this all have to do with being a Medical Assisting , pharmacy technician or nurse? Well, technology is everywhere and it influences every aspect of our life. A few nights ago I watched an episode of Family Ties and Elise and Steven Keaton were playing baseball on an old 1980’s tan computer with an attached keyboard. Compare that to the Wii and it’s a pretty amazing jump how far technology has advanced just in the not-so-simple world of gaming.
Several months ago my husband, who is an Vocational Nursing , had excessive training on a new drug dispensing machine at his place of work. (I can’t help but think of the glass and red painted metal candy machines that are at the front of grocery stores in which you drop in your quarter, turn the knob and candy spills out like a slot machine.) Instead of bugging the pharmacist, he just plugs in his ID number and the patient’s name and the pre-packaged drug can be found in the appropriate slot (or so he says). This machine has made work somewhat easier for him (except for the training and the weeks that followed as bugs were being worked out in the system), and as time progresses, I can’t help but wonder what other technology is on the horizon. When I had my baby a year and a half ago, I was surprised that my medical bracelet had a barcode and that the nurse had to scan it every time I popped a pill.
With new medicines, procedures and technology, it is important to stay on top of your game. If you are considering going back to school to become a nurse, a pharmacy technician or a Medical Assisting , consider Unitek College. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara and Sacramento, Unitek will give you the skills you need to thrive in this ever changing and fast paced profession.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/733278

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Certification Verses Degree

Even before the economy turned sour, it was common for individuals to change careers. Now with the unemployment rate high and debt even higher, many are choosing to go back to school to pursue a steady career with the promise of longevity. As such, many students are choosing to earn certificates rather than degrees to save time, money and to join the work force quickly.
Joanne Jacobs from The Hechinger Report tackles this topic on mcclatchydc.com. Jacobs explains that, “Labor economists and some educators believe career-driven degrees should become an increasingly common choice and are advising students to pursue skills-oriented fields of study they feel offer better job opportunities. Fueling the trend is the worst economic decline in more than 70 years and a slowly falling unemployment rate of 9.4 percent. Add to that the staggering total of $830 billion in student debt nationally.”
What really surprised me was that, “Nationally, 27 percent of people with licenses and certificates also earn more than the average bachelor’s degree recipient, according to Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Carnevale’s newest data show that at least half of all anticipated job opportunities in the next seven years will be open to ‘middle-skill’ workers like pharmacy technicians.” In short, you may not make as much to begin, but you’ll have a good paying job; that’s not such a bad trade off in these times!
Jacobs has some good news for those who are pursuing a certificate in the health care industry. “Nursing, medical technology and other healthcare jobs are growing rapidly, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even in Michigan, where the unemployment rate is 12.4 percent — tied with California for the second-highest nationally — those with associate degrees in nursing and allied health fields can find jobs, said James Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College in Warren, Mich.”
If you are considering going to school in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara, or Sacramento, consider Unitek College. You can get certified as a Pharmacy Technician, Medical Assisting, or Vocational Nursing in a short amount of time and have the skills you need to succeed in the medical field.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/01/16/106890/in-a-tough-economy-new-focus-on.html

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Choosing the Right Nursing School

So you want to join the health care profession but you’re not quite sure where to start. Dr. Juli Daniels, CCRN reports on endonurse.com five factors that you should consider when choosing a school to further your education.
1. Find the right program to meet your career goals – Daniels explains that, “The first thing to do is to decide on what level of nursing you would like to start.” Do you want to be an Vocational Nursing , RN or get your BSN? Should you become a Pharmacy Technician or Medical Assisting ? There are so many options, how much time and money do you want to invest before you start your new career?
2. Find the right school to meet your personal needs – What demands do you currently have in your life and what adjustments are you going to have to make as you pursue a new career? Do you have a full time job or a family to take care of? Maybe an online program or unconventional school would be better than say a state university. Also, Daniels recommends that, “if you had a difficult time in school in the past, you should look for a college that provides support services such as tutoring, faculty mentoring, small class sizes, and additional resources to help you be successful.”
3. Find a School with a Good Reputation – “First and foremost, you should consider their accreditation. There are typically two forms of accreditation—regional and national. Regional accreditation is held by institutions such as the University of Florida, Northwestern University, and the University of Minnesota, and while credit transfer is always determined by the accepting institution, credits from one regionally accredited college are more likely to transfer to another regionally accredited institution. National accreditation is typically held by career colleges,” Daniels explains. The second factor to consider is whether or not the school is approved by the nursing board in the state in which it is located. Each state has its own nursing board website for you to confirm whether the school is legitimate. Finally, get the opinion of others in the field. If you want to work at hospitals in your area and they have had negative contact with the school or graduates from the school you are planning on attending, that is obviously a bad sign. As those who know who are already working in the position you want about where they earned their certification.
4. Interact With the Faculty – You’re going to be spending a lot of time with these instructors. What is their experience in the field? Are they passionate about teaching?

If you are looking for a quality school to get you started in the health care industry in the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Clara or Sacramento, consider Unitek College. They can help you reach your goals and have the reputation, flexibility and strong faculty that will get you to where you want to be.

For more information, please go to:
http://www.endonurse.com/articles/2011/01/five-factors-for-choosing-the-right-nursing-school.aspx