Nursing Management and Delegation of Duties – Care Example

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"Nursing Management and Delegation of Duties" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. Delegation is a management function that refers to the process of transferring responsibilities and authority to an individual who is ready to accept the transfer. In management, delegation is necessary for ensuring that the manager has time and resources to perform the most important functions that cannot be performed by another person. It also allows for a healthy interpersonal relationship between the manager and the rest of the workers. This follows the knowledge by the subjects that the manager is ready to coach them and develop them to management.

However, in all delegation processes, the delegator retains full accountability for the authority and responsibilities delegated (Josephsen, 2013). This implies that it is important for a manager to ensure that the delegated duties can be performed by a person chosen in a manner that the manager would have. In the nursing profession, delegation is regarded as a skill that demands knowledge by the registered nurse, who is also a manager on what kind of duties and responsibilities that can be delegated and to whom they can be delegated.

This is a reflective paper of my nursing experience in the operating room setting regarding nursing management and delegation of duties. Delegation in nursing practice is a required competency recognized by the professional bodies. In addition, the delegation must follow the set institutional guidelines and policies, as well as the five rights of delegation; task, person, circumstances, directions and communications, and supervision (ANA, 2010). In the operating room, my main duties as a student circulatory nurse involve direct nursing care for the patients undergoing all the operation procedures.

I always performed these duties as a non-sterile member of the operating team; assessing the patient's conditions throughout the operation and also make a plan for the intraoperative nursing care. As a student, I performed all these duties under supervision. I have been a member of the operating room for the last two months. For all this time, the nursing care in the perioperative setting has been managed by one senior nurse who holds a master's degree in perioperative nursing.   Her duties involve overseeing the nursing duties in the unit and ensuring that the multidisciplinary approach to care is enhanced through staffing the unit and planning for the duties.

This has always ensured that the nursing team in the unit is not the source of failures and shortcomings in the unit. As a single manager in the unit, the nurse manager is sometimes overwhelmed with duties and responsibilities. At one time, she had to take sick-leave following exhaustion. The administration was concerned about the duties and sought to make a survey. Their findings indicated that the manager had been performing all the duties, major and minor, without delegation.

This was despite having equally qualified nurses in the units and others who could still handle some of these duties. During the days that the manager was away, a different staff member was selected to handle the duties. Luckily enough, the selected nurse was a great planner, an attribute that he had never had a chance to display in her three years in the unit. She also embraced delegation and fully communicated to the staff the expectations of each in the unit.

All of a sudden, the environment was changed with every member of the perioperative nursing team having a sense of responsibility for a particular task that they could handle. The manager had an easy time since most of us felt motivated and had opportunities to demonstrate our management qualities. His work became that of a supervisor, evaluating the duties as they were performed in addition to performing those duties that could not be delegated. A different level of the delegation was also witnessed in the unit.

Having learned the value of delegation in making work easier and helping achieve more objectives with less struggle, each of the registered nurse team leaders was able to delegate duties to the unlicensed assisting personnel (UAP), and students working under them. The results of these management practices were evident within a very short time. The duties that would be observed to overwhelm managers to the extent that they neglected some of the most important responsibilities were delegated, and time was saved. In addition, all the staff felt motivated through the trust the managers had in them, this motivation was reflected by the quality of work that was achieved within a very short time.

At one time, I worked in the operating room during a craniotomy, and my nurse asked me to grab whatever the circulator asked for the surgery, like a Foley set and sutures. This was something that I was capable of and saved time through such delegations. The operating room setting became a place where everyone in the hospital envied. The other disciplines and healthcare professional groups sought to adopt the system in their practice. The need for the delegation was communicated to the manager as she returned from her leave.

She was happy to learn of the progress and even allowed the interim manager to continue transforming the unit as she learned from the rest of the team. However, some nurses either misunderstood the concept of delegation or wished to take advantage of the provision. In essence, delegation should only be done on duties that the delegated person is fully qualified and is comfortable with.

It also requires that the delegator and the delegated person agree on the responsibilities (Potter, Deshields, & Kuhrik, 2010). It happened, on one day that after the normal tea break, I was informed by a team-mate that I was supposed to conduct a patient interview prior to the surgery and check to connect, and H& P. This is something that I had never done on my own. In addition, I was still a student and all the duties I did were supposed to be supervised by qualified nurses. It was also inappropriately communicated, having been passed through a different person and not the delegator.

I had to solve the confusion with the delegating nurse and another qualified nurse to ensure that all the activities went as planned. The delegation was embraced in the unit and other units in the hospital as a major management function that can transform the practice and help involve all the staff. However, with time the institution will need to set delegation policies to guide delegation in practice.


American Nurses Association. (2010). Nurse–related principles for delegation. Retrieved 14, November 2014 from

Josephsen, J. (2013). Teaching nursing delegation: An on-line case study. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 8, 83–87. doi:10.1016/j.teln.2013.03.002

Potter, P., Deshields, T., & Kuhrik, M. (2010). Delegation practices between registered nurses and nursing assistive personnel. Journal of Nursing Management, 18, 157–165. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01062.x

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