Everytime I see one of these questions, I want to pull my hair out! They intimidate me and I often feel the least prepared for these types of questions. Here I will break down how to answer NCLEX-style priority and delegation questions.
A lot of this material comes from the Saunder’s Comprehensive NCLEX Review. If you’ve seen any of my other posts, you have probably run across this book. I wish I would have purchased this book my first semester of school. I bought it my third semester and kicked myself for not getting it sooner. It has been worth every penny to me!
Another great resource is the Brilliant Nurse Course for NCLEX prep. It has practice questions, detailed rationales, videos, strategy sessions, and case studies. The prices are very competitive with other similar online NCLEX-prep websites.
Prioritizing patient care is an essential nursing skill. It will determine who gets care first, and the order in which you perform your tasks. Often in the clinical setting, it can be easier to spot your priorities because you have access to a lot of information. NCLEX-style questions can be tough simply because you are given 1-2 sentences of limited information with which you must make the decision.
These types of questions can be multiple choice, select all that apply, ordered response, exhibit questions, etc. Any type of question is game!
- ABC’s – Airway, Breathing, Circulation
- Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
- Consult your patients about their priorities and needs
- Use the nursing process to guide you
When you are given a set of choices, read them all before making your decision. Hopefully you can eliminate 1-2 choices right off the bat. After that, use your ABC’s. If any answer choices fall into that, it is probably your answer.
The key to answering delegation questions is understanding the scope of practice for yourself and each of your colleagues. You must also analyze the tasks that need to be done and the importance of completing them. Then, assign tasks to a competent individual.
When you assign a task to someone else, the nurse who owns the task is accountable for it.
Always ensure patient safety when delegating tasks. In general, non-invasive interventions such as ambulation and hygiene measures can be delegated to UAP’s (Unlicensed Assistive Personnel). An LPN or LVN can do some invasive procedures such as catheterization and suctioning.
Remember that a Registered Nurse is responsible for assessment, planning care, initiating teaching, and administering medications intravenously.
Never assign an unstable patient to UAP’s or LVN’s.
I hope this helps explain how to approach these questions! Practice makes perfect. Use one of the resources listed above to do practice questions! The more you expose yourself to these tough questions, the better you will get at it!
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