The Illinois Department of Public Health is responsible for regulating Illinois home health providers. However, Illinois does not offered a state-administered test or training program for home health aides. Instead, home health aides are expected to receive training independently through one of several options, and then gain approval through the state’s home health worker registry.
How to Become a Home Health Aide in Illinois
Since there is no formal certification program run by the state, home health aides have several options for acquiring proper training and certification. Please note, what’s listed below is only the minimum requirements . Certain home health agencies may require additional training and competencies, especially those covered by Medicare and Medicaid.
Below are some options for receiving training and certification as a home health aide.
Get certified through the National Association of Home Care and Hospice
The NAHC’s national home health aide certification program includes training, skills evaluation, and a written exam. While this certification is not mandatory, it will assure future employers that you meet national standards for home health aides. For more information about the NAHC home health aide certification program, call (202) 547- 7424.
Complete a nursing arts course
In addition to the course, you will need to complete 40 hours of supervised clinical training. Check your local vocational school or community college for an accredited nursing arts course.
Home health agencies must give a minimum of 8 hours of training to all new employees providing in-home care. This will include a competency test after the first 4 hours of training. You may be exempt from this training if you’ve completed a similar employer training in the last year and can provide proper documentation. Please note, some agencies may require additional training.
2. Approved on the Health Care Worker Registry
Once you have completed the above, you can get approval on the Illinois Health Care Worker Registry. An approved home health aide meets the training requirements of the state and does not have a disqualifying background check.
3. Equivalent Experience and Training Outside of Illinois
If you meet one of the following equivalencies, you may be exempt from the above minimum requirements. You will need to provide documentation of one of the below:
- Registered as a home health aide in another state
- Completion of U.S. military training program which included Basic Nursing Assistant Training
- Completion of an approved nursing program in a foreign country
Where to Look for Home Health Aide Jobs
Are you ready to become a home health aide? Use the following job site to find home health aide jobs located in Illinois:
- IHHC Job Board
- Career Builder Home Health Aide Jobs
- Indeed Home Health Aide Jobs
- Simply Hired Home Health Aide Jobs
How to Find a Home Health Aide in Illinois
Below are several useful directories or finding a home health aide in your area:
- Illinois Department of Public Health: Find agencies in their directory of home health aide agencies or look up an individual in their health care worker registry.
- Home Care Headquarters Directory: Search for home care providers based on county, services and payment options.
- Care Pathways Home Care Agency Directory: Search for providers based on your area code and city.
How to Choose an Illinois Home Health Aide
Regardless of whether you choose an agency or an independent home health aide, it’s important you and your loved one feel confident with your choice. The following interview questions can help you decide if an agency or individual is not only the right match for you, but also determine if they’re following Illinois home health regulations.
Questions for Home Health Agencies
- What services do you provide?
- Are you Medicare and/or Medicaid certified? (This also means an agency meets more stringent requirements than those which are not Medicare certified)
- What initial training do you give your home health aides?
- Do you require and/or provide ongoing training?
- Do your aides have any liability insurance?
- Do you have any customers I can call about their experience with your agency?
Questions for Independent Home Health Aides
- Are you approved on the Home Health Worker Registry? (This means they meet state training requirements as well as an approved background check)
- What services do you provide?
- What training have you completed? (Find out if they have completed any training in addition to the state’s minimum requirements)
- Do you have liability insurance? (This is not required, but is in the best interest of you and your loved one)
- Can you provide me with references who I may call? (Preferably former patients or employers)