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Introduction: Delegation

Personnel in a nursing unit work together as a team, it is therefore important to delegate some of the work to the different group members to ensure that all duties and tasks are done and that objectives are reached. Delegation refers to the devolution of duties, tasks and responsibilities by the supervisor to the subordinates in the nursing unit. (Muller 1998:174)Delegation can be seen as the process by which managers assign authority and responsibility to subordinates. (Hellriegel & Slocum 1989: 367)Delegation is one of the most beneficial aspects of any leadership role. If delegation is done well, it not only saves time for other activities, it can also ensure that all tasks are given the time and concentrated effort they are due. Delegation is a great way to build on the skills of other team members.

Factors that influence the delegation of nursing care

 The nature of nursing: the types of nursing interaction for example wound care, commencing an infusion, assisting during intubation, observations, resuscitation of a patient.

 The frequency of the nursing interaction and the intensity thereof, for example wound care of a small superficial abrasion or wound care of a burns patient.

 The category and number of personnel available for example 2 registered nurses and 1 enrolled nurse and 1 auxiliary nurse their scope of practice defers.

 The skills and abilities of the personnel- even if a person are very skilled he/she must still act within their scope of practice.

 The layout of the nursing unit which could be more conductive to a specific delegation approach.

The Principles of Effective Delegation

 Establish objectives and standards with the help of the subordinates who will perform the tasks.

 The manager / shift leader remains answerable after she has delegated a task. The manager is still responsible for inspecting, supervising and ensuring the correct performance of the task.

 Careful planning is needed in...