Nursing students and graduates focus so much on comprehensive review content and do not put enough time towards reviewing when to delegate. Still, if you want to pass the Next Generation NCLEX with flying colors, learning how to delegate is crucial.
And today, you and I are going to do this together.
Knowing when to delegate (and when not to delegate) is a big part of a Registered Nurse’s job.
As a Registered Nurse, you are a leader, and a leader needs to know when to let others do the work and when to do it themself.
After this episode, you’ll be able to easily decide when you should delegate and when you shouldn’t.
Keep reading for more!
What Is Delegation?
Delegation is the act of a Registered Nurse transferring responsibility to another staff member capable of completing the task.
Some nurses have difficulty delegating tasks to other staff members – this could be because the nurse instead just does it themself or because they don’t want to burden a coworker. However, delegation is essential because a Registered Nurse has so much on their plate and delegating tasks can help them focus on more critical ones.
The Importance of Always Following Protocol
Remember that the Registered Nurse should always follow their state’s and facility’s protocols. Some policies may vary from one state to another or even from one unit to another. When working in a brand new unit, it is important to learn what the policy is before assuming the policy is the same as in your home unit.
Why You Can Never Delegate Accountability
Accountability is never transferable or delegated. A Registered Nurse is always accountable for their patients. When an RN delegates tasks to another staff member, it is still their responsibility as a Registered Nurse to oversee that the delegated task is being done correctly.
A Registered Nurse cannot transfer accountability to their delegate just because they asked them to complete a task.
Finally, if a patient needs to be evaluated, assessed, or educated, do not delegate that task to an LPN or a UAP.
The Five Rights of Delegation
Use the five rights of delegation to answer the NCLEX question in order to eliminate some of the multiple choice questions.
Ask yourself: Is this the right task to delegate? Can the LPN or UAP perform this task? Or is this a task that only the Registered Nurse should do?
Is the patient stable or unstable? You can delegate stable patients to the LPN or UAP, however, if the patient is unstable, the Registered Nurse should not delegate.
Also, assess if the staff member’s workload is overwhelming. Do not delegate if the co-worker is already handling too much.
Are you delegating the task to the right person? If you are a Registered Nurse delegating to another RN, ensure that they are fully trained in the task. Just because the nurse is licensed, it doesn’t mean that they know how to perform the task.
The RN should always make sure that the task has been completed in a timely manner and correctly evaluate how everything went. The Registered Nurse is still accountable for the delegated task, even if they passed the task off to someone else. If the delegate did the task incorrectly, the responsibility still falls on the Registered Nurse.
Right Direction and Communication
When delegating a task, make sure to provide the right direction, state the task clearly and how it should be completed, and communicate what should be reported back to you.
I discuss all of this in more depth in the episode above, so make sure to give it a listen!