Delegation in the Nursing Practice
Delegation is a skill that all registered nurses must acquire. The skill is necessary since it allows for the registered nurses to assign tasks to licensed practical or vocational nurses. When duties or tasks are distributed, the services provided are more efficient (Genette, 2004, p. 102). This helps ensure that all health care consumers get the best treatment possible. However, a registered nurse needs to supervise the tasks assigned, to ensure that all goes well.
Nurse related Principles of Delegation
For delegation to be effective and successful, there are certain principles that should be met. One principle is such that a registered nurse should only delegate certain elements and not the whole process of health care. This helps ensure that the RN is present throughout the whole process. Another principle is that the RN should first consider the skills and knowledge of whomever they are delegating tasks to since they are held responsible for all actions (LaCharity, Kumagai, & Bartz, 2005, p. 154).
A registered nurse should be able to make judgment on whether to delegate or not, what to delegate and to who. Their decision is based on the condition of health care consumer, ability of the members of the nursing team, and the degree of supervision required. In addition to this, an RN should only delegate duties and tasks that they confidently feel that members of the nursing team can competently complete.
It is the responsibility of the RNs to check if the organizational policies and procedures meet the standards of the board of nursing and the do not go against the nurse practice Act. Besides the policies and procedures, chief nursing officers should set systems to help access the requirements of both the RNs and the delegates, as well as to monitor the delegated tasks.
Organization-related Principles of Delegation
Each organization should have its set of policies and standards of delegation. The management of the organization should actively involve all the nurses and administrators when formulating the policies. When the staff is actively involved, it becomes easier to implement the policies. This also helps boost the confidence of the nurses and motivate them as they work.
It is also the responsibility of the organization to avail all resources needed (LaCharity, Kumagai, & Bartz, 2005, p. 226). For instance, the organization should ensure that it has hired skilled and competent staff. This will make it easier for the RNs to delegate tasks and duties well. The organization should also have in place systems that access qualifications of their staff, as well as monitor all the health care procedures. After accessing the qualifications of their staff, the organization should communicate the information to all registered nurses for them to be able to make wise judgments when delegating (Hansten, & Jackson, 2008, p. 312)
An organization should have an input system to enable the nurses to keep upgrading their skills and knowledge. Nurses should continually refresh their skills to meet the required standards and learn all the new elements of treatment procedures.
Essential Elements for effective Delegation
Nurses should understand the professional and legal standards of delegation (Hansten, & Jackson, 2008, p. 376). This means they should have access to important documents such as the Code of Ethics for nurses. They should also work together when formulating policies that guide delegation and supervision of the delegates. The policies should be well communicated to everyone to make sure the delegation process is understood.
Chief Nurses should make conducive work environments by working closely with the leaders of the organization and risk managers (.Hansten, & Jackson, 2008, p. 398). Communication should be encouraged to allow for constant consultations when the need arises. This helps avoid confusion in the organization.
In conclusion, registered nurses should be educated on leadership qualities. With good leadership qualities, they would be able to delegate tasks more effectively. There would help avoid risks. More to that, delegation of tasks helps reduce workload intended for one person.
Application of the Principles of Delegation in the field of Oncology
The field of Oncology in the medical world deals with all types of tumors, otherwise known as cancers. This is a very sensitive area and in the case of delegation, thorough delegation is needed. Most of the procedures in the procedures of Oncology can only be administered by a Registered Nurse. These include administering of chemo therapies, and blood transfusion.
These procedures cannot be delegated to other nurses such as vocational nurses and new nurses for it would be against the principles of Delegation. In addition to that, as a registered nurse working in the oncology unit, it would be against the code of practice for nurses to assign cancer patients to just any nurse. I would have to do thorough investigations on the qualifications of the delegate, before assigning them any task or patient. Even after delegating an element one of the procedures, I would have to supervise it to the very end.
Genett M. Donna PhD. (2004). If You Want It Done Right, You Don't Have to Do It Yourself!:
The Power of Effective Delegation. California: Linden Publishing
LaCharity Linda, Kumagai K. Candice, & Bartz Barbara. (2005). Prioritization, Delegation, and
Assignment: Practice Exercises for Medical-Surgical Nursing. Missouri: Mosby
Hansten Ruth, & Jackson Marilynn. (2008). Clinical Delegation Skills: A Handbook for
Professional Practice. Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Publishers