RN Task Delegation Discussion

RN Task Delegation Discussion

Should The RN Take The Assignment?

No, the RN should not take the assignment. In the nursing profession, it is rarely clear what should be delegated and what should not be. It is unfortunate since, without a clear specification of what to delegate, the nurse leaders and supervisor mostly rely on their perceptions and personal judgment to draw conclusions about emergent situations. What should be delegated depends on applicable state laws and the nurse practice acts, competencies and the job descriptions of professionals, the needs of the patient, the situation at the clinic, procedures, and policies of the health care facility, and the standards stipulated in the professional nursing practice (Cherry & Jacob, 2016 RN Task Delegation Discussion).

RN Task Delegation Discussion

Going by the American Nurses Association (ANA, 2015), delegation involves transferring responsibility from one party to another while maintaining accountability. The concept of delegation is legal and involves making an assessment, setting up a plan, intervening appropriately as well as making an evaluation. Therefore, before delegating, a leader has to assess the capabilities of the staff to know who has the appropriate skills to complete a certain task (ANA, 2015 RN Task Delegation Discussion).

Allocating a task to someone incompetent or unprepared for the job at hand may have to dire consequences, including costly medical errors. For instance, delegating a surgery entirely to an RN, who has no experience whatsoever, can lead to the death of a patient. If the demise could have been prevented, had there been a more capable health care professional, the supervisor who delegated the job might lose their job and face charges.

Since almost all accountability falls on the person delegating the task, the L & D unit supervisor in this case should know that if something goes wrong, they will bear the blame. The supervisor is accountable for assessing the patient’s needs, ensuring they are available to the RN, following up, and making corrective actions where necessary to ensure effective and safe patient care. The RN, on the other hand, should hesitate to accept to handle a task which he or she is inadequately prepared for or one he/she is incapable of handling effectively (Edwards et al., 2018). This is because the person taking the instructions is responsible for their actions and should only accept tasks within their competency parameters.

In this situation, the RN feels that they are incapable of handling the task comfortably. The L & D unit supervisor, however, appears confident that the RN can handle the task and goes ahead to mention that it only requires basic nursing assessment skills. Even though the RN should be capable of handling the two women in labor, he or she lacks the requisite practice confidence to do so.

However, once the supervisor uses the word, “you” when mentioning what it needs to handle the task, it seems accusatory (Cherry & Jacob, 2016). That makes it difficult to communicate effectively. Had the supervisor avoided using the word, it would have been easier to convince the RN that the task is easy to handle. Maybe then, the RN would have had no issue reporting to the L & D. RN Task Delegation Discussion

RN Task Delegation Discussion References

  • American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing informatics: Scope and standards of practice.
  • Edwards, S. T., Helfrich, C. D. Grembowski, D., Hulen, E., Clinton, W. L., Wood, G. B., Kim, L., Rose D. E., Stewart, G. (2018). Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 31(1), 83-93.  https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2018.01.170083
  • Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2016). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management. Elsevier Health Sciences. RN Task Delegation Discussion