A nurse on a busy surgical floor is working with an unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP). The nurse understands that which task cannot be delegated to the UAP?

  1. assisting a stable client to set up her meal tray for easy access
  2. assisting a client with an arm cast onto the bedpan
  3. calling report on a client who is being transferred to the observation floor
  4. helping a client ambulate in the hall who is post-op day 2 from a cardiac catheterization with stent placement
Number 3 is correct.
Rationale: The nurse is responsible for knowing which tasks can and cannot be delegated. Ultimately, the nurse is responsible for the outcome of all delegated tasks. Only the licensed nurse can call and receive report on clients. UAPs may perform tasks with stable clients who will have predictable outcomes. Assisting stable clients set up meal trays or sit on a bedpan is within the realm of tasks that UAPs may perform. The client who had a cardiac stent placed is two days post-op, and there are no complications mentioned that would indicate this client is unstable.