Delegation And Assigning

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Question :

Pediatric Nursing Concepts (NURN 222)

Community College of Baltimore County USA

Delegation and Assigning: How does delegating a task differ from assigning a task

Discuss the role of charge nurse.

Identify and discuss delegation and supervision activities that you have observed at clinical sites.

Reflect on the activities performed by charge nurses observed during various clinical experiences. 

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Answer :

How does delegating a task differ from assigning a task?

As defined by the American Nurses Association, delegation refers to the transfer of responsibility for the implementation of a tasks or set of tasks to someone else (ANA, 2019). However, the delegator retains the accountability for the outcome as the as responsibility can be delegated to the delegatee. “Professional nurses are responsible for delegating nursing activities, but although RNs may delegate elements of care, they do not delegate the nursing process itself.” (Taylor et al., 2012). When delegating assignments, the licensed nurse needs to assess several factors to ensure that the assignment is successful based on the patient’s acuity level disease process, the skill of the staff and their scope of practice and the organizational protocols and policies. These factors align with the five rights of delegation which are the right person, the right task, the right circumstances, the right directions and communication and the right supervision and evaluation (Cherry & Jacob, 2019).

On the other hand, as assignment is the “routine care, activities and procedures that are within 

the authorized scope of practice of the RN or LPN/VN or part of the routine functions of the AP.”(ANA, 2019). These assignments usually include assisting the patient with ambulation, personal care, feeding, and turning to improve patient health outcomes (Wagner et al., 2018). An assignment cannot increase the delegatee’s obligations. As such, the delegatee is carrying out an assignment when performing a fundamental skill on the job in alignment with their basic education program. The delegation process can provide an opportunity for the delegate to carry out a nursing activity that is beyond the delegatee’s traditional role and/or not routinely performed but the licensed nurse (delegator) is still responsible for ensuring that the expected outcome is achieved.

Discuss the role of charge nurse.

The charge nurse’s role can be viewed as an expanded staff nurse role with increased responsibility who also works as the liaison to the nurse manager and assist with the coordination of quality care for patients ensuring the efficient use of resources for the various shifts (Sullivan, 2018). They are registered nurses who often have the responsibility of running the operation of the nursing unit and need to have good clinical knowledge and skills as the foundation for sound decision making, directing nursing tasks, and interpersonal skills to work well with others. The charge nurse works with nurse to find solutions to identified problems by assisting the staff members with decision making as well as serving as a role model and mentor (Sullivan, 2018). The charge nurse can have a significant impact on the culture of the unit with an influence on the safety of patients, the health care policies, and nursing staff attrition rates (Bateman, 2020). Charge nurses therefore usually have a lot of experience in patient care and administration and should receive adequate training to ensure that they are successful in their roles

Identify and discuss delegation and supervision activities that you have observed at clinical 

sites. At clinical sites, some of the activities that I observed were included delegation of routine tasks to Unlicensed Assistive Personnel (UAP) to help a patient’s activities of daily living such as patient ambulation, making unoccupied beds, helping the patient with their meals as well as assisting with hygiene. “UAPs are people trained to function in an assistive role to the licensed registered nurse (RN) in the provision of patient activities as delegated by and under the supervision of the registered professional nurse.” (Taylor et al., 2012). The premise of the nursing clinicals is also based on the instructor’s role in supervising the students by reviewing  and verifying all the findings, assessments, and documentations completed by the students. There was an instance were a UAP reported abnormal vital findings to a nurse who was critical, and the nurse did to just take their word for it but when and verified and developed a care plan to address the issues identified.

Reflect on the activities performed by charge nurses observed during various clinical experiences. 

During previous clinical experiences, the charge nurses played a key role in serving as a point of contact within a department or nursing unit. They coordinated the activities of the unit and assigned work to the nursing staff. They were primarily involved in the planning, coordinating, and evaluation of nursing activities and patient care. They led the morning rounds at the beginning of the shift providing organizational updates and the plan of action for the shift. During the rounds, high acuity patients were also identified and discussed as well as any other patient concerns or key items for staff to be mindful of. In addition, the charge nurses would also ensure patient coverage during staff absences and maintaining a safe working environment. 

Discussion on your perceptions of what makes some charge nurses more effective than others in terms of delegation and supervisory roles.

I think that what makes some charge nurse more effective than others are factors such as having a strong foundation of clinical knowledge and skills, interpersonal skills to work with a diverse staff, administrative and organizing abilities to direct nursing tasks and operations. Charge nurses who also accept their responsibilities and are accountable tend to generate more respect from staff which fosters a trusting environment that is effective for patient care. These characteristics and factors ensure that they are successful in performing the charge nurse role.