The work of junior medical personnel requires professionalism and a responsible approach to the performance of immediate duties. At the same time, in order to differentiate the qualifications of nurses, there are specially licensed degrees that determine the range of rights and powers of employees. The activities of specialists who do not have the appropriate confirmation of the level of professional training are allowed, and certain standards are determined by official documents and regulations. Based on the provisions of the Florida State Board of Nursing, the apportionment of duties will be reviewed, and employees’ responsibilities regarding delegation principles will be evaluated. This work is aimed at analyzing the role of unlicensed assistive personnel and registered nurses, as well as the conditions for the delegation of patient care tasks.
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Roles of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel and Registered Nurses
The activities of those employees who do not have the official confirmation of nursing qualifications are permissible in accordance with the state legislation. The Florida Administrative Code and Florida Administrative Register (2010) define the rights and obligations of unlicensed assistive personnel in section 649B-14 of the State Board of Nursing. According to the document, these employees may provide patient care services on an assistive or delegated basis without a special confirmation of their working degree (Florida Administrative Code, 2010). The competencies of these workers are not enough to make decisions regarding the specifications of care, but they are allowed to perform nursing functions that do not require narrow-profile qualifications.
Registered nurses have sufficient authority to participate in the provision of care services and plan a mode of interaction with patients. Also, specialists of this qualification have the right to delegate the authority of unlicensed assistive personnel. However, based on specialized legislation, registered nurses are not allowed to delegate authority in accordance with certain conditions (Florida Administrative Code, 2010). In particular, the performance of care responsibilities cannot be trusted to unlicensed personnel if these tasks require special knowledge or skills that entail specific patient outcomes.
Special requirements are applied to registered nurses regarding the delegation of patient care tasks. According to the Florida Administrative Code and Florida Administrative Register (2010), evaluating care progress and planning interventions are unacceptable tasks that unlicensed staff is not allowed to perform. Also, any issues related to the diagnosis and interpretations of subtotals are forbidden for delegation in the conditions of the cooperation of registered and unregistered nurses. The competencies of unlicensed personnel are limited, and this fact is key in planning joint activities and interventions for specific cases. Therefore, the delegation of tasks carried out by registered nurses has a number of limitations and conventions that are to be taken into account in order not to violate the state official legislation.
Responsibilities of Unlicensed Assistive Personnel in the ICU Environment
In conditions of the mutual cooperation of registered nurses and unlicensed assistive personnel, special forms of interaction may occur, and their impact on patient outcomes may be significant. Productive collaboration in intensive care units is a crucial aspect of nurses’ work since the features of care in such departments differ from those in a standard clinical environment. The cooperation of registered and unlicensed specialists creates special conditions for interaction, which are characterized by the delegation of authority and special principles employees’ work.
Assessing the differences in the diverse conditions of activity allows describing the challenges that are to be overcome. For instance, according to the study conducted by Bellury, Hodges, Camp, and Aduddell (2016), when working in the intensive care unit, unlicensed assistive personnel may be less attentive, which results in insufficient reporting. At the same time, based on the official working requirements, registered nurses are responsible for all the mistakes in case of the delegation of authority. Therefore, the most difficult tasks, as a rule, are carried out by licensed specialists in order to minimize errors and prevent poor patient outcomes.
In the considered clinical environment, role distribution is of great importance. As Bellury et al. (2016) state, in intensive care units, more attention is paid to team-building strategies to improve the quality of communication among the employees of different profiles and establish productive interaction. The authors note that in acute care settings, unlicensed assistive personnel can perform routine duties, which, nevertheless, is significant for patients and, at the same time, reduces the burden on registered nurses (Bellury et al., 2016). The organization of conditions for high productivity is one of the essential tasks in such departments, and, despite varying degrees of responsibility, employee loyalty plays an important role in the final results of nursing interventions. Therefore, the cooperation of licensed and unlicensed employees in intensive care units is characterized by special conditions and rules.
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The delegation of patient care tasks carried out by registered nurses to unlicensed assistive personnel implies a number of conditions and features that are essential to consider. The roles of employees are different, and the main responsibility lies with workers with proven qualifications. In intensive care units, productive collaboration between the two groups of medical personnel is a crucial aspect, and strategies to improve the quality of communication and accountability for any decisions are promoted.
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. (2016). The role of unlicensed assistive personnel (nursing assistive personnel) in the care of women and newborns. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 45(1), 137-139. Web.
Bellury, L., Hodges, H., Camp, A., & Aduddell, K. (2016). Teamwork in acute care: Perceptions of essential but unheard assistive personnel and the counterpoint of perceptions of Registered Nurses. Research in Nursing & Health, 39(5), 337-346. Web.
Florida Administrative Code & Florida Administrative Register. (2010). Delegation to unlicensed assistive personnel. Web.