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 Department of Public Health Offers Important Tips for Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses

With August temperatures in Northern California peaking in the 90s and even 100-degree range, the California Department of Public Health is urging all residents, including health professionals like Bay Area LVNs, to promote and practice cautionary measures during periods or extreme heat.

The state agency provides an extensive series of tips for pet owners, seniors and other residents, such as Sacramento LVNs, to help treat and combat the effects of high temperatures. Its “Be Prepared California” website recommends valuable heat-safety practices like:

1)    Remaining in cool indoor environments that, if possible, maintain colder temperatures through air conditioners. Public places like shopping malls, movie theaters or buildings like libraries may offer air conditioning if it is unavailable in your living or work space. Cold showers or baths may also provide relief from the strenuous heat.

2)    Avoid dehydration by drinking more amounts of fluids like water, sports drinks and juice. Liquids containing caffeine (black and green teas, caffeinated coffees and sodas) and alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) can actually deplete water from the body; the dangerous effects of water loss can increase significantly during hot weather.

3)    Wear loose-fitting fabrics that ventilate instead of trap heat. Even indoors, sleeveless shirts, shorts and clothing made of lightweight material can be especially welcoming on scorching days. Light-colored clothes may also be less likely to absorb heat and cause you to lose fluids through excess sweat.

4)    Limit outdoor activities like exercising, traveling or walking your dog to typically cooler times, such as early morning or evening. Remaining in the shade during such activities and wearing appropriate levels and amounts of sunscreen may also help reduce the amount of sun exposure and potential heat-related problems.
5)    Take time to check on people who may be susceptible to the effects of a heat wave, such as the elderly and young children. Pets should also be given access to cold fresh water and shady or cool areas on hot days.

6)    Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone around you demonstrates symptoms of heat exhaustion, severe sunburn or heat cramps. Signs may include: extremely red dry skin, dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, confusion, vomiting and lack of coordination. Assistance from a trained professional, like a San Francisco LVN, may help prevent heat-related illnesses from causing long-term serious damage.


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UC Davis Medical Center Under Investigation for Potential Nurse Staffing Shortages

Possible violations of nursing staff levels have triggered the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to investigate the UC Davis Medical Center, reports the Sacramento-based Capital Public Radio broadcasting organization.

In a feature story broadcast August 3, reporter John Sepulvado describes investigations by California state regulators into charges of nurse staffing shortages at the central Sacramento trauma center and comprehensive teaching hospital.

The investigation is reported to be the result of a February complaint filed with regulators by the California Nurses Association (CNA). The organization has a long track record of campaigning for guaranteed healthcare, patient safety, and the rights of California’s registered nurses.

Among the chief concerns expressed in the papers are chronic nurse understaffing at UC Davis Medical Center, and patient problems related to the staff shortage.

According to the Capitol Public Radio report, the California Department of Public Health confirmed that an investigation of UC Davis Medical Center is underway, but offered no further comments. The story also stated that two UC Davis nurses, who are also CNA members, said they were questioned in the last 30 days by the CDPH about understaffing and specific patient cases.

California state law requires different ratios of nurses, including Sacramento LVNs (licensed vocational nurses), to patients. These figures may vary depending on the type of facility and care unit. Operating rooms must have one nurse for each patient, while emergency rooms require one nurse for every four patients.

The CNA documents provided to Capitol Public Radio include several allegations of specific patient problems connected to a shortage of nurses at the UC Davis Medical Center. One complaint details an infant whose stomach required pumping after being overfed. In another instance, a patient in distress was assigned individual monitoring by a nurse. The patient later attempted suicide after being left without the recommended one-on-one nurse monitor.

For years, the California Nurses Association has cited numerous cases of nurse understaffing at hospitals throughout the state. Similar complaints were filed by the organization against the UC Davis Medical Center in 2009 and 2004.

There is an urgent need for qualified nursing professionals, like expert San Francisco LVNs, throughout Northern California. If you’ve thought of pursuing a career as a Santa Clara LVN, or a vocational nurse elsewhere in the Bay Area, see how Unitek College’s skilled training program can get you started in this growing field today!

For additional information on Capitol Public Radio or the California Nurses Association, please visit:

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Greater Sacramento Licensed Vocational Nurse to Receive a Prestigious Nursing Award in Washington D.C.

Brenda Calvin Wright, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) clinical manager for the Chapa-De Indian Health Program in Auburn, California, will receive a distinguished national award for excellence in nursing on July 21 in Washington D.C., reported the Colusa County Sun Herald.

Wright will be awarded on Wednesday during the 2010 Nurse Leaders in Native Care Conference. The annual event includes a series of educational workshops and presentations on the people and issues that impact American Indian and Alaskan Native nurses. It is sponsored by the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Indian Health Service National Nurse Leadership Council, and the Arizona Nurses Association.

As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Wright was nominated to the National Nurse Leadership Council by her supervisor for her compassionate approach to nursing, and the positive impact she has on her patients’ lives. In her nomination, Wright is said to improve the attitudes of numerous patients by taking the time to communicate sensitive medical practices and emphasizing the benefits of daily self-care.

According to the Colusa County Sun Herald, Wright began working at the Chapa-De Indian Health Program as a receptionist five years ago. After a year at the Auburn-based healthcare program, the native of Colusa County, northwest of Sacramento, transitioned to a rewarding new role as an LVN. This professional change followed the death of her husband Larry in a truck accident.

Wright, a grandmother of two, is the only California Indian Health Care nurse to receive this year’s prestigious award from the IHS National Nurse Leadership Council.

The Chapa-De Indian Health Programs serve more than 4,000 patients in the Greater Sacramento communities of Auburn, Grass Valley and Woodland. While many of the programs’ patients are Native American, Wright is recognized for sharing her compassionate and professional nursing skills with all of Chapa-De’s clients. As she told the Colusa County Sun, “All our patients are like family to me. Not just Native Americans, but those from all communities.”

Like other nursing personnel, such as San Francisco LVNs, Wright is part of a vital and growing field in the healthcare profession. Licensed vocational nurses play an important role in the and daily care of patients in clinics, hospitals and other settings. They also provide key information on preventative care and treatment to families and caregivers.

If you’ve thought of exploring LVN Jobs in Sacramento or considered working as a Santa Clara LVN, Unitek College has a quality training program that can get you started on a rewarding career in the expanding nursing industry. Discover more about Unitek College’s LVN convenient training program today!

To learn more about Brenda Calvin Wright, please visit:

And to learn more about the federal Indian Health Service program, please visit: