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3 Common Concerns Nurses Have About Delegation—and How to Get Over Them

You may want to do everything yourself, but sometimes you will need help. Here are the three most common hangups nurses have about delegating tasks to others, and how to get over them.

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Despite what you might think, you can’t do everything yourself. To be the very best nurse you can be, you’ll need to be able to rely on your teammates to help you out–no matter whether it’s a light or heavy lift. Here’s how to get over some of the most common hangups nurses feel about delegating.

Nurse Delegation Concern #1: You Don’t Feel Like You Can Give Another Person Work

Don’t think this way, even for a second. As a nurse, you’ve made it through years of school and are in charge of saving people’s lives every day, so you have what it takes to delegate. However, you may also be working on a team or at a facility that doesn’t encourage this kind of collaboration. If that’s the case, but you’re feeling like you’re stretched too thin, you need to raise this issue with your manager immediately. Sit them down and explain your situation; they don’t want you to burn out either, so chances are good that they’ll want to work with you to solve the problem. And, if you still get resistance to the idea of delegating tasks, you may want to consider moving to another team or to another facility that welcomes that it.

Nurse Delegation Concern #2: You’re Afraid of Making Your Teammate Feel Angry or Resentful

Sure, your teammate might get a little frustrated if they keep getting bedpan duty all the time. Nursing school emphasizes that we should be doing everything ourselves, so nurses typically come into the workplace expecting to have tasks delegated to them. However, it’s always a good idea to switch up the kinds of tasks you delegate, as well as to whom you’re delegating. And, as always, make sure to follow up with compliments and gratitude so they know that you appreciate their help.

Nurse Delegation Concern #3: You’re Not Sure How Qualified the Staff Member Is to Perform a Task

This is a very valid concern that you shouldn’t take lightly. If the issue is that you simply don’t know whether a staff member has handled a certain task before, just ask. If they say “no” or aren’t able to give you correct answers to clarifying questions, then move on to someone else. If you’re not confident that the person can perform the given task properly, simply don’t give it to them. Find a teammate who you know has done the task before AND has done it correctly.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Cinch™ or Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company. This article (subject to change without notice) is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute professional advice. For our full disclaimer, click here.

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