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Accepting Delegated Duties

Registered nurses are responsible for the overall nursing care of clients. RNs use the nursing process, a decision-making approach, to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate client care that they or other team members provide to clients. As delegators, RNs and, where allowed, LPNs give you, the MA-C, the authority to carry out certain nursing functions (also called procedures, tasks, or activities) that do not require professional level of knowledge or skills. Your assignment must be in keeping with your credentials and position description. Remember, other UAPs may not delegate tasks to you; for example, a CNA asks you to give a PRN medication to a resident. You must first check with the resident to validate the request, and then consult with the nurse before giving the medication.

Just as you are legally accountable, or answerable, for your delegated functions, so, too, are the nurses accountable for their delegation. In this way, you and the delegating nurse share legal accountability for safe client care.

You are responsible for accepting your assigned tasks; refusing them because you want to avoid your work is unacceptable and grounds for discipline according to agency policy. Further, you cannot delegate any part of your assignment to other unlicensed assistive personnel. However, asking for help in carrying out your tasks is permissible; for example, you may ask the CNA to help you position the resident to safely receive medications.

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