In the know: Delegate your way to success

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, May 26, 2008

You cannot do everything for all of your patients yourself. Working with the ancillary staff and knowing what an appropriate assignment is for them will help you with your workload. Just remember the five rights of delegation before you delegate a task.

1. Is this the right task to delegate? The task should be one that is frequently repeated in the daily care of patients. It should not require your nursing assessment or judgment.
2. Are the circumstances right? Look at the setting and the resources available. Is it reasonable in this situation to delegate the task?
3. Is this the right person for the job? Are you certain that this person has the skill set or competency required to do the task safely and effectively?
4. Did you use the right communication? Did the delegated person clearly understand you (and vice versa)? Make sure to tell the person your expectations, such as the acceptable range of a patient's blood pressure and what to do if the patient varies from your set range.
5. Did you provide the right supervision? Even when you delegate a task, you are still responsible for monitoring, evaluating, and using nursing interventions for your assigned patients. You are responsible for all patient outcomes.

Source: Stressed Out About Your First Year of Nursing, HCPro, Inc., 2006.



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