Genevieve Graduated as an RPN 6 months ago and has started working on a busy complex care floor. She has been working with Amil


Genevieve Graduated as an RPN 6 months ago and has started working on a busy complex care floor. She has been working with Amil, a PSW, for the last 5 months and he has been a Personal Support Worker for 10 years. They work well together. One day Genevieve is overwhelmed with administering medication, and asks Amil if he would mind checking on Lucy, a young patient who is ringing the call bell. Genevieve tells him that Lucy probably needs to be suctioned and to suction if he believes Lucy needs suctioning. Genevieve reflects and thinks it has been a while since she was last in Lucy’s room.

Can Amil give Lucy a quick suction if she needs it? He has seen it performed before on many occasions on the unit, but has never actually done the task himself.

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Please answer the following Questions.

1. Who are the three persons involved?

2. Is the procedure stated delegated or assigned?

3. Explain the reason for your answer?

4. What responsibilities does the CNO state the RPN has when deciding to delegate a task to a Personal Support Worker? Relate this to the scenario provided?

5. Did or did not the RPN in the scenario follow what the CNO said?

6. As an RPN if you were in this scenario, what would you have done differently?

7. In the scenario was the newly graduated registered practical nurse ready to delegate to the Personal support worker?

8. Who can delegate to a personal support worker?


Delegating Tasks in Nursing Practice


In the healthcare field, effective delegation plays a crucial role in ensuring efficient patient care and optimizing the workflow. This essay explores a scenario involving Genevieve, a recently graduated Registered Practical Nurse (RPN), and Amil, an experienced Personal Support Worker (PSW) (Riisgaard & Nexøe, 2017). The objective is to analyze whether Genevieve appropriately delegated a task to Amil, considering the guidelines provided by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO).

Persons Involved

The three individuals involved in this scenario are: a) Genevieve – a recently graduated RPN. b) Amil – an experienced PSW with ten years of experience. c) Lucy – a young patient in need of suctioning.

Delegation or Assignment

 In this scenario, the procedure of administering a quick suction to Lucy is delegated by Genevieve to Amil.


Delegation is the transfer of responsibility for the performance of a specific task from one individual to another who possesses the appropriate competence. Genevieve, as an RPN, has the authority to delegate tasks within her scope of practice to Amil, a PSW. The procedure of suctioning has been observed by Amil on several occasions, indicating a familiarity with the task, although he has not performed it himself. Therefore, Genevieve’s decision to delegate the task to Amil aligns with the guidelines for delegation.

Responsibilities of RPN when Delegating

According to the CNO, when deciding to delegate a task to a PSW, an RPN must ensure the following responsibilities are fulfilled:

  • Assessing the patient’s needs and determining the appropriateness of task delegation.
  • Ensuring the task aligns with the PSW’s role and competence.
  • Providing clear instructions, supervision, and ongoing communication.
  • Assessing and reassessing the patient’s condition and response to the delegated task. In this scenario, Genevieve is responsible for assessing Lucy’s need for suctioning and providing Amil with clear instructions to perform the task if necessary. She must also supervise Amil’s actions and maintain open communication.

Compliance with CNO Guidelines

 Based on the information provided, Genevieve follows the guidelines set forth by the CNO. She assesses the situation, recognizes the need for delegation due to her overwhelming workload, and provides Amil with clear instructions to check on Lucy and perform suctioning if necessary.

Alternative Actions

If placed in a similar situation, as an RPN, I would consider a few modifications. Firstly, I would proactively communicate with Amil about his prior experience with suctioning and ensure his confidence in performing the task (Makarem et al., 2019). Secondly, I would verify that Amil understands the signs and symptoms of a patient requiring suctioning. Additionally, I would provide him with a thorough demonstration of the procedure and offer assistance during the first few attempts to ensure patient safety and Amil’s competence development.

Readiness to Delegate

Considering Genevieve’s recent graduation and limited experience, it is essential to evaluate her readiness to delegate tasks to a PSW. While Genevieve’s decision to delegate in this scenario seems appropriate, her level of readiness can be influenced by factors such as familiarity with Amil’s skills, communication skills, and experience in assessing and managing complex patient conditions. Without further information, it is challenging to make a definitive assessment.

Delegating Authority to a PSW

 In accordance with CNO guidelines, an RPN can delegate tasks to a PSW. However, the delegation must align with the PSW’s role and competence (Saari et al., 2018). Additionally, the RPN must provide appropriate instructions, supervision, and ongoing communication to ensure safe and effective care delivery.


 In conclusion, delegation is a vital aspect of nursing practice that facilitates efficient and patient-centered care. In the presented scenario, Genevieve appropriately delegated the task of suctioning to Amil, a competent PSW. By following the CNO guidelines, Genevieve ensured the safety and well-being of the patient while effectively managing her workload. Effective delegation practices contribute to improved patient outcomes and collaboration within the healthcare team.


Makarem, A., Heshmati-Nabavi, F., Afshar, L., Yazdani, S., Pouresmail, Z., & Hoseinpour, Z. (2019). The Comparison of Professional Confidence in Nursing Students and Clinical Nurses: A Cross-Sectional Study. PubMed, 24(4), 261–267. 

Riisgaard, H., & Nexøe, J. (2017). Successful task delegation in general practice – a way to maintain primary health care in the future. Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care, 35(2), 111–112. 

Saari, M., Patterson, E., Kelly, S., & Tourangeau, A. E. (2018). The evolving role of the personal support worker in home care in O ntario, C anada. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26(2), 240–249. 

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