A Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, is a vital member of the health care team. While working under a Registered Nurse, the CNA collects information from patients and provides basic care for people visiting clinics or living in assisted living facilities.
The duties a CNA performs vary widely depending upon where they are employed. CNAs help resident patients with basic living tasks like bathing and dressing. Taking vital signs and measurements is also common. Perhaps most importantly, the CNA acts as a liaison between patients and an RN. Good communication skills ensure that the patient gets the care they need.
Becoming a CNA in Chicago, Illinois
People aspiring to be a CNA in Chicago have many choices for obtaining the required training. Before enrolling in a program, it’s important for candidates to verify that it is accredited by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Only completion of a properly accredited program will be accepted as an adequate credential by the state. Fortunately, there are many accredited programs in Chicago and throughout the state.
Many of these CNA programs are provided by community colleges and technical schools. Alternatively, accredited training programs are also offered by nursing homes, hospitals and long term care facilities. These programs frequently feature the added benefit of providing employment for students upon successful completion. CNA programs in Chicago, Illinois require between 10 and 16 weeks to complete and consist of a minimum of 120 hours of training. The training is divided into lectures in the classroom, laboratory time and at least 40 hours of clinical experience.
Chicago CNA candidates must pass a state-administered written competency test before being able to practice. They must also pass a criminal background check and be properly immunized.
Outlook for a CNA Career in Chicago
After completing training and passing the competency exam, CNAs are added to the state Registry for nursing aides. The CNA may now seek employment in a wide variety of settings. Chicago CNAs find employment in hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, assisted living centers and nursing homes, among others. CNAs enjoy a particularly good career outlook in the Chicago area. Demand for well qualified CNAs is high and expected to remain so for the next few years.
Many new CNAs begin with a wage of about $13 per hour or about $26,600 per year. With a few years of experience, some CNAs make $20 per hour or more.