One of the biggest struggles new nurses face is learning how to effectively delegate to nursing assistants. Let’s say you’re 23 years old and get your first job on a busy cardiac unit. You quickly learn that the most of the nursing assistants are much, much older and have been there for centuries! When you meet them, they give you a look – a look that says, “We’ve been here for 30 years and we’re not about to let a young whippersnapper like you tell US what to do!” Seriously, I spend most of my time helping individual nurses and organizations eliminate nurse-to-nurse bullying but sometimes it’s not the nurses – it’s the nursing assistants!!! Many nursing assistants try to intimidate the new nurses on purpose so that they will be less likely to delegate to them.
However, the only way you can successfully provide high quality, safe and effective patient care is to learn how to work WITH nursing assistants (and others) and delegate.