Assessment 1. Transcript. NSB305 Semester 2 2018.
Three graduates talking about scope of practice, skill mix and delegation.
Helen: Hi Shirly, Hi Darren, Hi Daria. How have you been? How’s your first year as a registered nurse going?
Shirly: Hi Helen. Well I have been in the graduate program for about 6 months now. I am just starting to feel as though I am finding my feet. But sometimes I still feel a bit lost and at times, I do wonder if I am not working outside of my scope of practice. This happens mostly on evening and night shifts when there aren’t a lot of people around to ask for help or advice. I remember we were told at uni about it being our own responsibility to provide safe care and to not work outside of our scope of practice; no matter what. But sometimes it’s really difficult. Like last week, I was on a night shift and a patient’s naso gastric tube had come out. I knew that it had to be reinserted but, apart from in the clinical practice sessions and watching a couple on the ward, I hadn’t done one before. And there was no one to help me, so I just did it. I think the patient was OK, but I know that that is not good practice but what else do I do? I am worried about being accountable for doing the wrong thing.
Darren: Yes Shirly, I am finding similar things. Finding the support you need on evenings and night shifts can be difficult and I have found that at times the skill mix is just wrong. One day during report, I counted 5 senior RN’s on the morning shift but apart from the team leader (who was a 2nd year RN) and I, we were the only other RN’s on the PM shift. It was pretty scary stuff and because the team leader was so busy, I was constantly double checking myself, so I got behind in my work. It didn’t help that we had patients coming back from theatre and the team leader said that I had to get them all as she didn’t want to leave me alone on the floor in case the EEN’s needed close supervision with delegated tasks that I was not able to do. This didn’t make me feel any better. It jest kept ringing in my head. Whatever happens here, you are not just responsible you are accountable as well. I must say that I felt a bit overwhelmed.
Daria: Oh delegation! It’s my greatest headache. I know that delegating tasks to others can really help me as a graduate to learn and focus on registered nurse work, but I really struggle with deciding what tasks to delegate and who to delegate them to. I worry that the EEN’s think that I am just lazy and trying to get rid of the jobs that I don’t wat to do. This I see the other RN’s delegating, but I don’t think that they are really making sure that the person they delegate to understands the task nor do they appear to be supervising or supporting them. Last week, a patient feel in the shower. The assistant in nursing doing the shower hadn’t realised that the patient always needed someone with them and went back into the ward area to make the bed. So while I am also constantly aware that I have a responsibility to delegate, and I know that it will help me keep up with my work, the concern that I am accountable if anything goes wrong, really worries. Me.
Helen: Thanks everyone. I know that it is tough when what happens in the clinical are does not always meet your expectations, but it is great that you are aware of the difficulties so that you can work towards finding ways to improve the working environment. Just be sure that you work within your codes of practice and standard guidelines. This will give you direction and reassure you that you are meeting best practice principles. This is an exciting time for you and its really helpful to hear your experiences as a graduate nurse.
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