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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California Nurses Join Naval Medical Mission to Haiti and Central America

A group of California-based nurses departed July 21 for a month-long medical mission to Haiti and Central America, announced National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the United States. The California registered nurses (RN) will join nurse volunteers from Michigan and Washington state as part of the international humanitarian assistance program Continuing Promise 2010.

During their deployment, the nurse volunteers will be stationed aboard the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious U.S. Naval ship. From July to November, the Continuing Promise volunteers will provide nursing care in temporary clinics located on the coasts of Haiti, Coasta Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Suriname. The nurses will assist patients in these countries on a one-month rotational basis.

The first team of professionals to participate in the mission is comprised of Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Registered Nurses (RNs) who have disaster relief experience and backgrounds in women’s health. Like other kinds of nursing professionals, including Santa Clara LVNs, RNs and Nurse Practitioners undergo specialized training that provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to care for their patients safely and effectively.

San Francisco Bay Area women’s health nurse practitioner Jane Ernstthal is one of the healthcare professionals participating in the Central American-bound mission. She has extensive clinical nursing experience in regions as diverse as Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Malawi and Kenya. During her previous nursing missions, Ernstthal provided family planning education and training for personnel at local clinics.

Joining Ernstthal and the other volunteers is San Diego-area Registered Nurse Amanda Howard. After Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January, Howard spent six weeks in the island nation. As part of her volunteer nursing work, the RN helped establish pre- and post-natal care at an existing Haitian clinic.

Erstthal and Howard are part of National Nurses United’s volunteer Registered Nurse Response Network. The group provides widespread care through a series of continuous assignments, including a mission earlier this year to treat those critically injured in the Haiti earthquake.

Since 2005, Continuing Promise has brought together civilians, Sailors and Marines with a desire to provide humanitarian aid to citizens of South and Central American countries, particularly during critical situations resulting from natural disasters.

The need for skilled nursing professionals both abroad and close to home continues to grow. If you’ve been thinking of exploring LVN jobs in San Francisco, Fremont or elsewhere the Bay Area, see how Unitek College can get you started on an exciting nursing career. From LVN jobs in Sacramento, to nursing roles in San Jose, Unitek College has the quality training program to help you jumpstart your career in this growing healthcare field.

For additional information on National Nurses United, please visit:

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Nursing Professionals Address California Whooping Cough Epidemic

The American Nursing Association (ANA) and other professional groups are joining the campaign to raise awareness among nursing professionals, like Sacramento Vocational Nursing, on the California whooping cough epidemic.

In June, the California Department of Health declared an epidemic of this highly contagious yet preventable respiratory disease. More than 900 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have been reported in California in less than three months. An additional 600 suspected cases are also under investigation. Sadly, five infants also died recently in the state as a result of pertussis infections.

In a special release issued on June 25, the ANA urged nurses, particularly those working closely with infants and newborn babies, to be vaccinated against whooping cough with the tetanus-diptheria-pertussis vaccine, or “Tdap,” vaccine.

“This is a tragic reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases still exist, and the need to maintain vaccine coverage is vital to protecting the public, especially those most vulnerable,” stated the ANA in its online statement on the outbreak of this bacteria-borne disease.

The ANA also encourages California’s nursing professionals, such as San Francisco Vocational Nursing, to educate pregnant women and parents on whooping cough. In particular, the organization recommends that health professionals promote the need for babies, children and adolescents to be vaccinated against the disease.

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The name ‘whooping cough’ is based on the whooping sound generated by sufferers as they attempt to breathe in air during strenuous coughing fits. Babies are especially susceptible to this airborne disease, which can be spread through mucous discharge from the nose and mouth.

Following a 7-10 day incubation period, pertussis sufferers usually experience nasal discharge along with mild coughing and sneezing. Symptoms typically become worse during the next 1-2 weeks, and eventually lead to uncontrollable and aggressive coughing attacks. From this point, sufferers may experience unpleasant coughing fits for an additional 2-8 weeks. In serious cases, particularly those involving infected infants, whooping cough can contribute to severe complications like pneumonia.

Despite the existence of vaccines, contagious diseases like whooping cough remain on rise in California and other parts of the country. As serious illnesses continue to impact more people, the need for qualified licensed vocational nurses who can care for and educate patients will also grow.

If you’ve thought of training for Vocational Nursing jobs in Santa Clara or other parts of the state, now may be the best time to act. Unitek College’s quality LVN education program can help you develop skills you need to help California respond to outbreaks of whooping cough and other preventable diseases.

For additional information on preventing pertussis, please visit: