Today’s healthcare environment is very different from when I graduated over 20 years ago. Back then we had time to do the little things that made us feel human – pm care, real patient education, and even an occasional “hanging out” with patients and their families. Now, nurses find themselves in a whirlwind of increasing demands, technology and patient acuity. Not only is being competent in delegation more important than ever – it’s a matter of survival. Yet it is a skill that most nursing professionals identify as our biggest weakness.
So, what are we going to do about it? We need to start learning the “skill” of delegation. We will start looking at delegation and begin the steps to mastering this critical skill. I invite you to share any tips that work for you – chances are, they will work for others.
Delegating to nursing assistants: Many nurses find it difficult to delegate to nursing assistants that are older than them or have been there for a longer period of time. I know some of them can be intimidating but delegation is a skill that you need to master. Most new graduate nurses and even seasoned ones struggle with this skill so you’re not alone.
Here’s a tip: Avoid using the phrase, “Can you do me a favor”. It implies that it really isn’t their job and that they are just helping you out. Better to state requests in the form of “I need you to do x for our patient”, “Our patient in room x needs to have his blood sugar checked at 11am. Can I count on you to do this?”, etc. Remember, you are the licensed professional, educated nurse. You do have authority over the unlicensed personnel.
Hope this helps! More to come!