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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Experts Predict Future of Registered Nursing Will Include Evolving Skill Set and Broader Work Environment

As opportunities in the nursing field are evolving, so too are the skills and work environments associated with the field, says an article published September 12 on the online industry portal

In her front-page feature, staff writer Cathryn Domrose details some of the notable shifts predicted for Registered Nurses (RNs) and the nursing field as a whole.

According to Domrose, these desirable and versatile skills include: the talent to shift between working independently and in collaboration with other health personnel; critical thinking abilities; training and expertise in elder care and knowledge of the healthcare system operations.

Domrose quotes industry expert Linda Tieman, RN, MN, FACHE, executive director of the Washington Center for Nursing and board president of the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, who anticipates growth in the area “community health” work field.

Domrose article also cites figures provided in the 2010-2011 edition of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, including 22 percent expected growth in the RN industry from 2008 to 2018; however, the rate at which nurses are hired is likely to vary specific among healthcare industries.

For example, Domrose says that while “hospitals employ about 60% of all RNs,” this number is predicted to drop due to anticipated factors like “technological innovations,” “healthcare reform,” and “cost-cutting trends” that “provide incentives to take care of more people in the community.”

The article identifies several sectors that the BLS expects will offer increasing job opportunities for nurses. Specifically, RN jobs are expected to increase in physician’s offices by 48 percent, while home health positions are predicted to offer a 25 percent increase. By comparison, RN positions at hospitals are anticipated to grown by just 17 percent.

Domrose also addresses the effect of the country’s expanding population of aging baby boomers on the nursing field. In particular, she points to “nursing workforce researchers” who say a larger segment of older Americans with “multiple chronic conditions” will likely create an increasing number of community care and hospital patients.

Finally, Domrose describes how some industry-insiders are analyzing the role of recent healthcare reform, including how its focus on “coordinated care” and prevention may produce similar priority shifts in the country’s healthcare model—from hospital to more community-based care.

Changes in the country’s population and healthcare landscape will require more specialized and trained professionals, such as Sacramento RNs and San Francisco registered nurses. Learn more about training for a role as a Santa Clara RN at Unitek College, today!

For additional information on Cathryn Domrose’s article for, please visit:

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Major San Francisco Hospital Charged With Discrimination by California Nurses Association and Filipino Community Groups

Filipino community organizations and a leading state nurses association are charging San Francisco hospital California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) with “systematic discrimination,” due its reported ongoing practice of discouraging the employment of Filipino nurses.

In a press release issued on August 19, the California Nurses Association (CNA), an advocacy group comprised of healthcare professionals like San Francisco registered nurses and San Jose RNs, announced it had filed a complaint with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. A corresponding letter charged Sutter Health and its affiliate CPMC hospital “with employment discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin.”

Along with calling for an SF Human Rights Commission investigation into CPMC, the professional organization, which represents Sacramento RNs and other registered nurses, filed a class action grievance against the hospital and Sutter Health for contract violations related to discriminatory hiring practices. The California Nurses association also asked Sutter Health to demand CPMC “cease and desist” employment discrimination.

According to last Thursdays announcement, the CNA was joined by more than two dozen leaders of Filipino organizations and community groups in calling for a meeting with the hospital’s CEO Warren Browner and the Sutter Bay West Bay Vice President of Nursing Diana Karner. The groups are also demanding CPMC “publicly renounce its discriminatory practices, and commit to equal opportunity regardless of race or national origin.”

In a press conference last Thursday, CNA revealed testimony from former CPMC nursing professionals, including supervisors with first-hand experience of the discrimination against Filipino nurses. In onestate from the hospital’s former Critical Care Services director, the VP nursing director Karner reportedly advised him “not to hire any Filipinos.”

As further evidence, CNA provided a list of current employees at the CPMC-operated St. Luke’s hospital. The documents show that before February 2008, about 65 percent of the hospital’s registered nurses were Filipino; however, after February 2008, Filipino nurses comprised only 10 percent of the facility’s RN staff.

In the CNA press release, the supporting groups Filipino Community Center and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns expressed their concerns against Sutter Health and CPMC through spokesperson Terry Valen.

“Our community needs access to healthcare and good jobs.  Sutter/CPMC’s discrimination against Filipino nurses is another blatant example of the abuse that Filipino migrant workers face in the United States,” Valen said.

For additional information on the California Nurses Association, please visit:

To learn more about the California Pacific Medical Center and Sutter Health, please go to:

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Alameda County Registered Nurse Awarded $344,000 in Lawsuit Against ValleyCare Medical

Castro Valley registered nurse (RN) Kristeen Klaas was awarded more than $344,000 in damages last week by an Alameda County jury in response to her lawsuit against ValleyCare Medical System.

According to a July 24 story in the San Francisco Chronicle, Klaas, an RN for more than 30 years, claimed her former employer refused to rehire her after she quit her job in May 2008. Klass left the Livermore-Pleasanton-area hospital after 15 years of service.

Prior to her departure, Klaas complained for over two years to ValleyCare management about patient safety and the questionable conduct of fellow hospital staff. In her lawsuit, Klaas claims that facility management refused to respond to her rehiring request in retaliation against her expressing her concerns. The 54-year-old operating nurse now divides her professional time between San Leandro Hospital and the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland.

The San Francisco Chronicle lists several examples of the controversial practices Klaas reported during her time at ValleyCare. One instance involved a surgical technician who brought a rifle that was for sale into the operating room office. Other instances include a nurse who jumped rope with an electrical cord in the hospital operating room and also brought a dog into the operating team break room.

One of the most shocking complaints made by Klaas describes how the tip of a surgical instrument was left inside a patient. The error was discovered after operating room staff failed to find the object following surgery. Klaas said ValleyCare does not have a formal policy requiring staff to account for instruments after surgical procedures.

Like other skilled nursing personnel, such as Santa Clara RNs, Klaas is dedicated to the proper care and health of her patients. Her commitment and sense of professional responsibility led her to report potentially unsafe practices and stand up to retaliatory management actions.

Northern California has a growing need for skilled and dedicated registered nurses like Klaas. Now may be the best time for you to train for San Francisco RN jobs, or career opportunities as a Sacramento RN.

Expand your professional horizons today with Unitek College’s quality LN to RN training program! Our staff of highly-skilled instructors give you the knowledge and expertise you need to transition from Licensed Nursing to an exciting and reward Registered Nursing career. Learn more about our established RN program now!

For more information on the legal proceedings involving Kristeen Klaas and ValleyCare Medical System, please visit: