What is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)?
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an entry-level health
professional who works under the supervision of Registered Nurses
(RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to provide a wide variety
of basic hands-on patient care.
What type of work is performed by CNAs?
Some of the typical tasks provide by CNAs include
taking a patient’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and
respiration rate; keeping patient records in terms of food/fluid
intake and output; assisting patients with grooming and personal
hygiene; obtaining food trays and assisting residents with feeding;
and working with residents on range-of-motion exercises and movements.
What types of skills does a person require to
be a competent CNA?
A person interested in this type of career should
be very interested and willing to provide hands-on patient care.
In addition, a CNA must be able to react quickly and effectively
in emergency situations and be able to communicate well with patients,
their families and medical staff.
Where do CNAs work? What is the starting salary
for an entry-level CNA?
In general, most CNAs are employed in long-term patient
care facilities. CNAs also provide home health care, and work in
hospitals and other medical facilities. An entry-level CNA is usually
paid about $9 to $11 per hour.
What is the current job outlook for this profession?
The CNA is one of the ten fastest-growing careers
in health care, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This type of work is expected to maintain its momentum of fast growth
through at least the year 2012.
Is there a certification process that must be
completed to work as a CNA?
Yes. While requirements vary from state to state,
in Illinois, once a student has successfully completed an approved
CNA course (such as the program offered at C.O.D.), he or she must
then pass the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH)
written nursing competency test for certification.
What type of CNA program does C.O.D. offer?
College of DuPage offers an 11-week CNA course (Health
Sciences 1105) that provides in-class and clinical training. This
course is offered at several different times and locations, with
start times offered three times per academic year.
Is there a separate application process for the
CNA program at C.O.D.? Are there any program prerequisites?
Yes, details are available in the CNA Handbook.
Students must have a 5th grade education and are required to have
a physical exam, updated immunizations, drug test and a criminal
background check to participate in the program. In addition, students
are required to satisfy both the reading and writing competency
requirements as stated in the CNA Handbook.