IntroductionResponsibilities and roles are clearly defined in organizations ensuring that there is no conflict or misunderstanding between the involved parties. Organizations have clear guidelines on how tasks should be accomplished. In a hospital setting, doctors, nurses and other players are supposed to play within their roles ensuring optimum service to the patients. However, sometimes the tasks are many and thus the responsible people may decide to delegate the duties. The aim of this paper is to discuss delegation within a hospital settings bringing into consideration contents and factors associated to delegation within hospital settings.
Nursing as a Profession Nursing is basically a profession that relates and blends the traditions of the past with the frequently changing reality in the health industry (Edwards, et al, 2002). The status of profession in nursing reflects the value of the society with respect to the nursing work, being professional refers to having knowledge in the subject, conscience in action, responsible to others and self. However, a true professional nurse should basically be an intellectual as opposed to physical, practical rather than theoretical, and be able to learn as a way of getting the knowledge. DelegationIn nursing, there are various roles handled differently in the nursing profession, the primary roles of behaviour change include the need to manage and measure the outcome, the need to financially understand the organization’s situation (Chew & Williams, 2001).
However, the management resorted to strategies that would improve the overall output in the healthcare through the transfer of nursing responsibilities and tasks to be performed by competent individuals, the process referred to as delegation. It is the mandate of the registered nurse (RN) to delegate nursing duties and tasks to the unlicensed healthcare workers though; the registered nurse is still overall accountable for delegated tasks and patient care (Conway & Kearin, 2007). Delegation is a management strategy used to enhance efficiency in the healthcare fraternity, the responsibilities and tasks delegation enables the registered nurse to attend to other tasks and situations that require urgent actions and professionalism.
However, registered nurse must carefully make decisions considering the training and the skills of the unlicensed healthcare worker and the patient’s medical/ health conditions (Edwards, et al, 2002).
There are factors to be considered before delegation is carried out. The registered nurse should state the expected outcome, completion time frame and any other concern to the Unlicensed healthcare worker before the delegation is carried out so that in case of anything that need clarification, the registered nurse should be able to reduce the cases of poor performance by the unlicensed healthcare worker for example: - situations where the unregistered healthcare worker fail to take the patients progress report which is of importance to the doctor in monitoring the patient’s conditions and response to medication.
However, in performance, delegation enhances responsibility and accountability as the different role players would be answerable and responsible for the inactions and actions of others and self in the delegation context which is the nurse’s legal liability for her patients, actions and outcomes respectively (Chew & Williams, 2001). The failure of the unlicensed healthcare worker to take records and/ or monitor the patient’s situation is termed as unprofessional conduct. In Nursing, it is important to evaluate, assess and intervene, correctly document, proper medication and treatment, confidentiality and integrity through performing only the duties and roles that the healthcare personnel is trained and legally authorized to do (Kunzle, et al, 2001).