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Terms in this set (26)
The process by which responsibility and authority for performing a task is transferred to another individual who accepts that authority and responsibility.
- delegator remains accountable for the task
- delegation skills can be learned
Responsibility and accountability
Responsibility denotes an obligation to accomplish a task.
Accountability is accepting ownership for the results or lack thereof.
Responsibility can be transferred.
Accountability is shared.
You can delegate only those tasks for which you are responsible.
The right to act.
By transferring authority, the delegator is empowering the delegate to accomplish the task
Delegation vs assignment
In assignment, no transfer of authority occurs.
Assignments are bureaucratic function and reflect job descriptions.
Effective delegation benefits that delegator, the delegate and the organization.
Benefits of delegation
For the nurse
- patient care is enhanced
- nurse's job satisfaction increases
- retention is improved
For the delegate
- delegate gains new skills and abilities
- delegate gains trust and support, resulting in greater self-esteem and confidence
- job satisfaction and motivation are enhanced.
- individual feel stimulated by new challenges
- morale improves, and a sense of pride and belonging develops
- there is greater awareness of responsibility
For the manager
- manager will have a better functioning
- manager will have more time to devote to management tasks
- manager will have time to develop new skills and abilities, enhancing the opportunity for career advancement
For the organization
- organization achieves goals more efficiently
- overtime and absences decrease, productivity increases
- financial position may improve
- quality of care improves
-patient satisfaction increases
The delegation process
Define the task
- delegate only an aspect of your own work for which you have responsibility and authority
- routine tasks
- tasks for which you do not have time
- tasks that have moved down in priority
- define the complexity of the task and its components
- subdivide the task into component parts and delegate the components congruent with the available delegate's capabilities
Certain tasks should never be delegated
- highly technical tasks
- situations that involve confidentiality or controversy
Decide on the delegate
- match the task to the individual
- delegate to the lowest person in the hierarchy who has the requisite capabilities and who is allowed to do the task legally
- determine availability
- delegation is an agreement that is entered into voluntarily
Determine the task
Clearly define your expectations for the delegate and plan when to meet
Key behaviors in delegating tasks
- describe that task using "I" statements
- the delegate needs to know what is expected and when, where and how the task is to be completed
- if written reports are required, indicate whether tables, charts or other graphics are necessary
Be specific about reporting times; identify critical events or milestones.
Describe the importance to the organization, you, the patient, and the delegate.
Clearly describe the expected outcome and the timeline for completion.
Identify any constraints on completing the task or any conditions that could change.
Validate understanding of the task and your expectations.
Be sure that the delegate agrees to accept responsibility and authority for the task
Monitor performance and provide feedback
Monitoring performance provides a mechanism for feedback.
Be sure to give praise and recognition due.
Obstacles to delegation
- no supportive environment
- organizational culture
- culture within the organization that may restrict delegation
- atmosphere of distrust
- personal qualities
- poor communication and interpersonal skills can also be barriers to delegation
Lack of resources
Lack of possible delegates.
Limited educational resources.
Fear of competition or criticism.
Fear of liability.
Fear of loss of control.
Fear of overburdening others.
Fear of decreased personal job satisfaction.
Unwilling to delegate
If proper selection criteria are used and steps of delegation followed, the delegate should not fail.
Another barrier is the individual who avoids responsibility or is overly dependent on others.
Someone with a lower rank delegates to someone with more authority.
The delegator loses control over a situation by providing the delegate with too much authority or too much responsibility.
This places the delegator in a risky position, increasing the potential liability.
Liability and delegation
Fear of liability often keeps nurses from delegating.
State nurse practice acts determine in the legal parameters for practice.
Professional associations set practice standards.
Organizational policy and job descriptions define delegation appropriate to the specific work setting.
NCSBN 5 rights of delegation
Right direction and communication.
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