Fundamentals Question #5

Question

A registered nurse delegates the task of a client’s scheduled tube feeding to an LPN to administer. Which should the nurse keep in mind about the delegation of this task?

Answers

  1. The RN has delegated the task to the LPN and is no longer accountable for the task.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although the RN can delegate this task of a client’s scheduled tube feeding to an LPN to administer, the RN is still accountable for the task being completed and evaluated. Proper delegation is an essential and important duty of the registered nurse (RN). It involves assignment of performance of certain duties of licensed and unlicensed personnel, while continuing to take accountability for the outcome. The RN should consider delegating only if the correct direction/communication is given, the correct supervision, the correct and appropriate task, the properly trained person, in the proper, specific correct circumstance.

  2. The RN is accountable for the task being completed and evaluating the outcome.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the RN is accountable for the task being completed and evaluating the outcome. Proper delegation is an essential and important duty of the registered nurse (RN). It involves assignment of performance of certain duties of licensed and unlicensed personnel, while continuing to take accountability for the outcome.

  3. The LPN is within rights under the nurse practice act to decline this delegation.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the nurse practice act does not give the LPN the right to decline the delegation. If the LPN is responsible for their own actions and there are rare situations when an LPN would legally be able to refuse a delegated task, for example a task that is not in their scope of practice or would knowingly or intentionally cause harm to the client.

  4. The LPN is not accountable to the RN for any delegated tasks.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the LPN is accountable to the RN for delegated tasks. Yet, the RN is accountable for the actions of the LPN and for the task being adequately performed.

Overview

The RN delegating tasks to an LPN should keep in mind that the RN is accountable for the task being completed and is responsible to evaluate the task outcome.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Proper delegation is an essential and important duty of the registered nurse (RN). It involves assignment of performance of certain duties of licensed and unlicensed personnel, while continuing to take accountability for the outcome. The RN must take into account the scope of practice, training, and competency of those individuals so safe, proper delegation can occur. Proper evaluation of the ability of the person delegating and the actual action is essential for safe delegation. The 5 Rights of Delegation should be considered during delegation. They are: the right direction/communication, right supervision, right task, right person, and right circumstance. Meaning, the RN should consider delegating only if the correct direction/communication is given, the correct supervision, the correct and appropriate task, the properly trained person, in the proper, specific correct circumstance.

Test Taking Tip

Delegation is a very difficult task of the RN. It requires knowing, trusting, and evaluating personnel. Always evaluate the person’s scope of practice first when deciding. This will eliminate several things from the choices to consider.

Video Rationale