The delegation of direct and indirect patient care to other caregivers is reasonable, relevant, and practical. However, the concept of delegation is difficult for many nurses. Once the decision to delegate a nursing activity has been made, the nurse must still safeguard the patient. The 5 rights of teamwork define the essential responsibilities and techniques to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate care and consideration.
Right Task — Is the task being delegated appropriately:
- Within the caregiver’s scope of practice?
- Compliant with the caregiver’s job description?
- Based upon desired patient outcomes?
- A task that is only delegated for a specific patient at a specific time?
Right Person — To perform the delegated activity, does the assigned caregiver possess:
- The knowledge and skill required?
- Appropriate certification and licensure?
- An appropriate job description?
- Documented and/or validated knowledge?
- Demonstrated competency or skills?
Right Direction — Has the caregiver been provided with:
- Initial directions that meet the 4Cs criteria?
- Clear direction
- Concise description of the activity to be performed
- Complete information including objectives
- Correct limits and expectations
Right Feedback — Is the caregiver provided the opportunity to participate in:
- A reciprocal (mutual) process of information flow?
- Providing input to the process?
- Communication that recognizes his/her efforts?
- Determining an alternative solution to problems that may arise?
Right Supervision — Is supervision for the delegated activity provided by:
- Determining the appropriate intervention to be delegated?
- Monitoring of the delegated activity?
- Ensuring that a follow-up evaluation of the delegated activity takes place?