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There have been tremendous changes in the nursing profession, especially due to the emergency of modern technology (McInnis & Parsons, 2009). There is also a shortage of nurses, which has increased the number of unlicensed personnel in health facilities. Therefore, delegation and prioritization are essential to ensure the appropriate allocation of duties among the workforce. Delegation involves handing down tasks among nurses to improve service delivery to the patients. Notably, there are special cases that require prioritization when delegating duties to the nurses. For instance, emergency response may require a specialized nurse. Therefore, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has given guidelines to ensure efficient and standardized delegation of tasks.
To begin with, RNs require a lot of information and knowledge on the patient's underlying health conditions before delegating the duties (McInnis & Parsons, 2009). Notably, some cases require specialized treatment. As such, delegating the tasks to unlicensed nurses may delay the recovery process or do more harm to the patient. Secondly, the RN should also access the practice settings before delegating the duties to avoid complications in service delivery. Importantly, the RN should access delegatee qualifications and skills before allocating the tasks. Lastly, they should assess the complexity of the task. RNs should delegate simple tasks to less experienced employees and technical duties to specialists. The ANA delegation model should promote accountability and efficiency.
Rights of Delegation
Both the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and ANA Delegation Model give guidelines on the delegation process. The two organizations are determined to ensure accountability and efficient service delivery to the patients as discussed below;
- Right task- The RN should delegate the task to qualified personnel. The RN should consider the complexity of the task and the outcome of care before delegating duties.
- Right circumstances- The RN should consider the settings in which the task is to be performed before delegating the task.
- Right person- The RN should ensure that the task is delegated to and performed on the right person.
- Right direction/communication- The RN should give the right instructions and guidelines on what is needed.
- Right supervision- The RN should monitor the delegatees and ensure everything is followed to the latter.
Tasks that Should Not Be Delegated and Their Rationale
To begin with, RN should also not delegate tasks that require specialized training. For instance, some machines require training before handling them because they are technical. Delegating duties to untrained personnel may hinder service delivery. Secondly, it is also not advisable to delegate confidential task to the employees. Notably, some patients may decide not to disclose their illnesses to some nurses. Therefore, it is important to consider such cases. Lastly, it is not advisable to delegate ill-defined duties to the workers. Delegating ill-defined duties is unlawful and punishable in a court of law.
McInnis, L. A., & Parsons, L. C. (2009). Thoughtful nursing practice: Reflections on nurse delegation decision-making. Nursing Clinics, 44(4), 461-470.
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