Does Delegation Help or Hurt Nursing? Does delegation help or hurt nursing? A Research Paper Fiona Molloy Dr. McDonnell/Bill Miller HSA 420 Chapter One: The History of Nursing. The first nursing school was established in India in about 250 B. C. , and only men were permitted to attend because men were viewed to be more pure than women. If you think of a woman dressed in scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck and a clipboard in her hands, you aren’t alone. An overwhelming majority of nurses in the United States today are women. However, nursing began as a practice reserved for men.

It wasn’t until the 1800’s that nursing became an organized practice. During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale and 38 volunteer nurses were sent to the main British camp in Turkey. Nightingale and her staff immediately began to clean the hospital and equipment and reorganized patient care. Nightingale pushed for reform of hospital sanitation methods and invented methods of graphing statistical data. When she returned to Britain, Nightingale aided in the establishment of the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army. As a woman, Nightingale could not be appointed to the Royal Commission, but she composed the Commission’s report.

Travel Nurses of America, 2010) Completed, the report was over 1,000 pages in length and included detailed statistical information. Nightingale’s work led to drastic changes in army medical care, the establishment of an Army Medical School and medical records, and ignited the growth of nursing as an organized profession. For these contributions, Nightingale is widely accepted as the founder of nursing. Ironically, nursing has been taken on as a feminine profession, although as aforementioned, that was not its intention. Nursing are an extremely vital component of health care settings.

According to the World Health Organization, nursing is defined as such: “Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. It includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illness, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people. ” (WHO, 2011) Keeping that definition in mind, nurses ensure that patients are being taken care of properly and efficiently. It is obvious that one nurse alone cannot do all the work that a health setting requires.

This is where the idea of delegation comes into play. One of the vitals skill required by the Registered Nurse is the skill to assign tasks to subordinates (Saccomanos and Pinto- Zipp, 20 ) When tasks are delegated to subordinates, the RN remains accountable (Nursing and Midwifery Council 2008). This concept of work delegation has positive and negative effects. On one hand, it helps the RN (Registered Nurse) do more work in a shorter period of time, yet the downfall is that if the subordinate makes any mistakes, the results could be fatal and would still rest solely on the hands of the RN.

Hence, delegation involves “responsibility, accountability and authority’ (Sullivan &ump; Decker 2005, p. 144). This research paper will analyze the role of a RN in relation to delegation. Chapter Two: Nursing and Delegation- Who Does What? This essay will examine the role of the registered nurse in relation to delegation. Areas that will be examined include definitions of delegation, benefits of distributing workloads, management in relation to delegation, nursing process and procedures when delegating, common mishaps of delegation, five rights of delegation, and barriers nurses must break through when to delegating.

In conclusion, this paper will hopefully convey the importance of an RN, delegation, and how this effects the uality of care patients receive. Delegation can be a useful tool that cuts costs, or a costly disaster waiting to happen From a management prospective, delegation is the idea of assigning tasks to other employees that a manager is currently undertaking. While delegation can be extremely helpful for speed, the question of efficiency and accuracy come into play.

Delegation is seen as a daily routine in clinical settings which can be traced back even to the Bible. Moses delegated to his Father-in-Law Jethro, asking why would everyone sit around and have you work alone? But what does delegation mean to Nursing? Delegation, as defined by the American Nurses Association, is the ability to handover responsibility for the performance of a duty from one person to another while being held accountable for the outcome. ANA, 2005) While effective, delegating another person in a health setting has its risks. Supervision is an essential tool in delegation because it involves direction, evaluation and follow up which must be provided by the RN to those she/ he is delegating the task to (Finkelman 2006). However, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (1995) also defines delegation as giving authorization to a capable ndividual to execute a particular nursing task in a particular situation.

According to Lookinland, author of Team Nursing, the Registered Nurse was solely responsible for the care of the patients but due to staff shortage, budgetary constraints and high rate of sicker patients, the need to delegate duties to other Non-Registered personnel arose. (Team Nursing, 2005) Delegation provides a lot of benefits for both the organization and the staff. Cost effectiveness and time savings have been identified as the benefits of delegation as these helps the organization to utilize resources and taff in an appropriate manner (Finkelman 2006).

Consequently, Pearce (2006) suggested that delegating repetitive tasks could lead to RN’s time being used efficiently for other tasks. Moreover, when tasks are assigned to others, it leads to the tasks being done in an efficient manner and an increase in productivity (Finkelman 2006). In the same light, Potter et al. (2010) stated with delegating duties to other staff, professional growth can occur as these staff have the opportunity of learning new skills, and having enough time in engaging in other activities.

When delegation is sed in an ettective way, it builds up teams and improves quality care (Finkelman 2006). Chapter Three: Nursing and Delegation- Management Theory. Delegation can be direct (such as verbal instructions e. g. assisting patients with activities of daily living) and indirect which involves activities carried out based on hospital policies (Masters 2009). Nursing management, when referring to MasloWs Hierarchy of Needs, is a useful organizational framework that can be applied to the various nursing models for assessment of a patient’s strengths, limitations, and need for nursing interventions.

Smeltzer SC, Bare BG, 2004) It is noteworthy to state that in relation to delegation, the registered nurse who delegates task retains accountability and responsibility for such task (ANA 2005). Due to the risks and various factors in a health setting, it is important that a RN keeps in mind that when delegating task to any individual, the task should be well understood and that the individual carrying out the task should be knowledgeable, trained and competent enough to carry out the task being delegated (Masters 2009).

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