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D214 clinics boost students closer to CNA careers

D214 clinics boost students closer to CNA careers

District 214 continues to prepare students for success in so many ways beyond daily classroom work. One current example: the District is hosting - at Forest View Educational Center - a series of clinics for nearly 200 Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) students who will participate this spring in on-site clinical experiences.

These clinics at Forest View allow students to meet the requirements and prerequisites they need to participate as CNA students at hospitals and long-term care facilities. For instance, before they may be placed in a professional care setting, students must - among other requirements - produce proof of a physical exam and of health insurance. They must receive flu immunization, complet two-part TB tests and be certified in CPR. They must be fingerprinted.

The rigorous requirements are all consistent with those for professionals working in health care settings. Typically, these requirements may be met over a period of time and through support, in part, of outside vendors. While the pandemic disrupted the normal flow of this process, District 214 was determined to establish a path by which students could benefit from the on-site work experiences this spring that were rendered impossible a year ago in the early weeks of the pandemic.

Barbara Kain, of the D214 Teaching and Learning team, said, “Our students’ lives and plans have been so deeply impacted by the pandemic this year that we really wanted to provide them an opportunity to meet their goals of the CNA course in as ‘typical’ a way as possible -- that means getting them some in-person, hands-on experiences with patients via clinical experiences.” 

But preparing students to participate in those clinical experiences offered logistical challenges -- namely how to get nearly 200 students qualified for clinicals by meeting the rigorous requirements described and to do it on a quick timeline. To do that, Kain enlisted the assistance of key community partners, including Northwest Community Hospital, to participate in the clinics at Forest View, allowing students to complete all of the requirements at one time, in one place.

Because of these clinics, nearly 200 District 214 students will be able to complete 20 hours of work in either hospitals or long-term care facilities by this summer. In addition, by completing these hours on site, students will earn college credit for the CNA class through Harper College and will be eligible to take the Illinois Nurse Assistant Competency Exam (INACE) which, once passed, allows District 214 students to be employed as licensed CNAs.