The health care industry employs hundreds of thousands of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) nationwide, and is acclaimed as one of the fastest-growing segments of the medical industry. As a CNA, one can enter the nursing field and with continuing education or professional practice to obtain a working experience that will enables her/him to reach in higher level positions.
Delaware is one of the strictest states in implementing guidelines and regulations regarding training and applications for certification of nursing assistants, as they seek to ensure the safety and well-being of their citizens.
In order to become a CNA in the state, candidates must have completed a CNA training program approved by the Division of Long Term Care Residents Program and pass a certification exam.
There are many different types of organizations that run approved training programs including vocational technical schools, community colleges, high schools, nursing homes, hospitals, adult education programs, rehabilitation centers, as well as the opportunity to take specialized classes online. Also, for those who cannot afford the fees, there are free classes offered by many facilities in exchange the students to work for them for a specified time after graduation.
CNAs are responsible for a wide array of tasks under the guidance and supervision of nurse or physician, such as taking patients’ vital signs, helping doctors with medical procedures, assist patients with their grooming, bathing, dressing, mobility, feeding, tidying patients’ room, administration of medications, record keeping, proper operating and maintaining medical equipment, etc.
In the state of Delaware, the Division of Long Term Care Residents Protection regulates and approves CNA training and some of the prerequisites for admissions are: a high school diploma or GED certificate, negative TB test within the past 6 months and submission of immunization proofs, as well as clean criminal record.
Approved CNA training programs last around 6-12 weeks and the fee lies between $1,500 to $2,500. They are required to have a minimum of 150 hours of training, equally divided between classroom coursework and clinical practice. The training provides students the necessary skills and knowledge in healthcare field and covers topics such as emergency procedures and patient safety, basic medical procedures, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, human bodily functions, basic nutrition, infection control, patient’s rights, professional conduct, etc.
The clinical practice is provided in an actual clinical environment and covers all the clinical concepts of nursing along with their practice, as helps the prospective CNAs to get used to the actual professional work environment and to learn various additional skills such as handling and operating medical equipment, communication and interpersonal skills, taking vital signs, proper record keeping, etc.
Delaware CNA Certification
Within 24 months from the conclusion of their training, applicants must pass a certification exam, which comprises of two sections: A written test with multiple-choice questions written in English, which is administered at testing centers of Prometric, and a clinical exam conducted under the supervision of an examiner and involves performing five nursing aide skills that are selected randomly from a list of 25 essential skills. Fee is $40 for written test and $68 for clinical test and if a examinee is not able to pass certification exam in maximum three attempts, have to retake an approved training program.
Upon successful completion of the certification exam, candidate’s name is placed as eligible on the Delaware Nurse Aide Registry, which maintains records of all nursing aides licensed to work in the state.
Currently, the license can be renewed every 2 years and CNA must perform at least 64 hours of paid work as nursing assistant and 24 hours of continuing education during the same period.
CNA Jobs in Delaware
There are variety of job opportunities for a CNA in the state of Delaware, such as in nursing homes, hospitals, private and public health care facilities, convalescent homes, long-term care centers, clinics of private practitioners, and home health agencies. The CNA salary in the state ranges from around $18,000 to around $34,000 per year. However, it depends on employer, job experience and job position.
The highest-paid CNAs in Delaware work in hospitals and their wage is around $34,000 per year, while the lowest-paid CNAs are working in-home health agencies, who are typically responsible for taking care of an elderly and their wage is approximately $18,000 per year.