Updated: Jul 13
When it comes to home care, the most important thing is to be able to provide consistent and reliable, quality care to the clients without delay. This can be challenging because the demand for qualified caregivers is constantly on the rise.
Sometimes, the clients’ needs include tasks that would normally have to be performed by a registered nurse. However, thanks to the Nurse Delegation Program, under Washington State law, registered nurses are allowed to delegate certain tasks to Home Care Aides or qualified Nursing Assistants.
This greatly relieves the burden on registered nurses. It also allows adult family homes staff to provide a higher level of care for their clients. The clients can have all of their needs met without dealing with the inconvenience of leaving the home or moving to a higher level facility.
Take a look at this short and informative video in which our founder, Robin VanHyning explains all you need to know about nurse delegation, why you need it, and how to make sure your caregivers are nurse delegated as fast as possible.
How Does Nurse Delegation Work?
In recent years, the US has been grappling with a caregiver shortage crisis. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the shortage of registered nurses is only expected to worsen. Projections show that states in the West and the South will be the ones most affected.
One way to deal with this crisis is to train other caregivers to help.
DSHS nurse delegation is a program that allows qualified caregivers to perform specific tasks that would otherwise need to be performed by licensed nurses.
This can vastly improve both the quality of care a caregiver provides and the quality of life of their clients. With nurse delegation, a lot of the tasks that would otherwise require care from a registered nurse can be done at the adult family home by the client’s regular caregiver.
What Are the Nursing Tasks That Can Be Delegated?
There is a whole range of tasks that a caregiver can take over with nurse delegation. Caregivers with this certification can administer most drugs, including oral therapy, eye and ear medication and vaginal and rectal suppositories. They can also handle non-sterile dressing changes, ostomy care, urinary catheterization, and gastrostomy feedings.
Caregivers who complete the Nurse Delegation Focus on Diabetes training too, can administer blood glucose tests and insulin injections.
The tasks that the Registered Nurse Delegator (RND) delegates to the caregiver are specific to each client, meaning that the RND must train the caregiver to perform these specific tasks for every client individually.
Bear in mind that there are still some tasks that may not be delegated, and that must be performed by a registered nurse. Those include various sterile tasks, administering injections other than insulin, central lines maintenance, and tasks that require nursing judgment.
Who Is a Nurse Delegator?
When a caregiver completes their Nurse Delegation training and gets their certification, they are still not allowed to perform delegated tasks until they complete in-person training about specific tasks with a Registered Nurse.
This portion of the training takes place face to face. The RND teaches the caregiver in a practical, hands-on way how to perform delegated tasks on specific clients. The caregiver has to be trained specifically for each client, even if the task is the same.
The nurse delegator will then continue to check on the trained caregiver – once every three months for all types of tasks except diabetes-related tasks.
When it comes to blood sugar testing and insulin injections, the Registered Nurse Delegator will observe the caregiver once a week for the first month and then once every three months after that. The certification testing, the training, and the follow-ups don’t necessarily have to be handled by the same nurse.
Who Can Get a Nurse Delegation Certification?
In order to be able to enter the nurse delegation program, a caregiver needs to meet certain conditions and complete additional training.
The caregivers who are eligible for this program are Nursing Assistants-Certified (NACs), Nursing Assistants-Registered (NARs), and certified Home Care Aides (HCAs).
To be qualified and allowed to perform delegated tasks, caregivers need to complete the required training first. (This requirement is currently lifted, but it might not be a permanent situation.)
The first phase of training includes obtaining the necessary certification. After that, a Registered Nurse gives the caregiver practical training for the tasks they will be performing in their day-to-day work.
How to Choose the Best DSHS Nurse Delegation Training?
Nurse delegation training consists of two certification courses.
The first is a course that provides the caregivers with the knowledge they need to perform all of the general delegated tasks. https://www.cornerstonehealthcaretraining.com/nurse-delegation
The second course focuses on diabetes-related tasks – mainly insulin injections and monitoring blood glucose levels through testing.
Caregivers can choose to do both the general course and diabetes-focus course at the same time, or focus on core training first, and leave the diabetes-focus certificate for later if they need it.
After a candidate has completed these courses, they receive the necessary certification which allows them to move on to the final portion of the training with a registered nurse.
In many cases, caregivers need nurse delegation certification as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the process can sometimes be time-consuming. Traditional nurse delegation training is a self-study class.
Precious time is often wasted before the candidate gets the material they need for studying, completes all the work, and schedules their test with a Registered Nurse.
It’s important to find the nurse delegation training program which will suit your needs and study style, and which you will be able to complete in a timely manner. Traditional training often comes with delays that can be a problem for many caregivers already working with clients.
Can You Do Nurse Delegation Training Online?
The answer is – yes. Nurse delegation training online with Cornerstone is the quickest and easiest way to get the necessary certificates. Not only does our course offer the convenience of completing the entire certification process from the comfort of your home, but it also significantly streamlines the procedure, making it possible to obtain the necessary certification within a day.
Our training consists of a nine-hour general course and a three-hour diabetes-focus class. After completing them, we provide testing through a national proctoring system. This means that you can have your certificates the moment you are done with testing, and working with clients as soon as you have completed your in-person training.
Click on the images below to register for Cornerstone Nurse Delegation training or Nurse Delegation: Focus on Diabetes