Is it wrong to "pass on" things to someone with more talent than you?

Nurses General Nursing

Updated:   Published

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.

So, I'm about two months into my new role as ADON, which is primarily infection control and staff development.   

Recently, I've noticed that a different coworker at my job has exceptional talent in these two areas.   For example, today he was exceptional at completing a CNA's competencies, while working on the floor as a nurse with a nursing student as well.   I noted that he simply has a natural talent for teaching, and seems to really enjoy it.   

I've only accomplished one out of four competencies with employees that I've been asked to complete them with so far.   Some of this has to do with being busy with learning a new role, but some of it has to with pushing them off since I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to that sort of thing.  

Thus, this afternoon I sent an email to the DON and Executive Director suggesting that we consider this individual to become a part time/back up staff educator.   I honestly think he would excel at this and would be a great asset to this position.   

Was this wrong?  I'm good at identifying talent in others, and this person definitely has it.

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.

Then again, that might not go over too well.  It may come across as me asking them to hire someone else to do my job or as giving away my work.  

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.
SilverBells said:

Then again, that might not go over too well.  It may come across as me asking them to hire someone else to do my job or as giving away my work.  

Maybe he WOULD be better at your job. 
 

So you were hired to do a job, which you haven't yet done because you don't know how to do it? Do I have that correct? What is your plan for figuring out how to do your job? You can't just not do it. 

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years).

It has been said, "A leader is someone who identified the inevitable and got out in front of it".

Identifying talents & strong points in others, supporting those qualities, and delegating duties are responsibilities of one in management.

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.
klone said:

Maybe he WOULD be better at your job. 

So you were hired to do a job, which you haven't yet done because you don't know how to do it? Do I have that correct? What is your plan for figuring out how to do your job? You can't just not do it. 

I've thought of a few things.   First, watching videos on how to teach CNAs and nurse's effectively.  Especially when it comes to CNA skills; while I'm able to do the tasks myself, I feel as if my teaching abilities in this area are a bit rusty.   I've also thought of observing and/or asking this other individual how he typically does competencies and what recommendations he might have, since he does since a great job of it.   I just hope he doesn't feel offended by this.   

With that said, you're right.   There really isn't any getting around performing my job duties.   At least, not if I don't want to be fired.   While it's possible this individual might be better at my job than I am, the point is that they hired me, not him.   These are my job duties, not his.   And who knows?  There could be a reason they don't want him to be performing these duties full time.   He's actually had several pretty significant medication errors and has been suspended more than once.   I've never had either.   It's also possible he simply isn't interested in the position full time--in which case, these duties shouldn't be passed on to him anyway.  

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.

A couple days later, and no response to my email.   I'm guessing they aren't interested in hiring him as a part time educator. 

SilverBells said:

A couple days later, and no response to my email.   I'm guessing they aren't interested in hiring him as a part time educator. 

Possibly.  It's also possible that, since he has "exceptional talent" in both primary functions of your position and you've asked about hiring him part time to do them, they're considering giving him your job.

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.
chare said:

Possibly.  It's also possible that, since he has "exceptional talent" in both primary functions of your position and you've asked about hiring him part time to do them, they're considering giving him your job.

Maybe.  Which, in the grand scheme of things, probably wouldn't be the end of the world.   

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

The first question would be, is there a position for a part-time educator.  We can suggest all the positions we want but unless there is an actual position it will be filed under "nice idea but it's not in the budget" trash can.

The second question is did you approach him and praise him for being such a natural educator and would he be interested in a new part time position.  If not, if it were me, I wouldn't appreciate you going behind my back for something I'm not interesting in doing.

Finally, by no means is it wrong to ask for help from people that are good at what they do, if they are willing.  

Good luck in your new role!

Specializes in Rehab/Nurse Manager.
Tweety said:

The first question would be, is there a position for a part-time educator.  We can suggest all the positions we want but unless there is an actual position it will be filed under "nice idea but it's not in the budget" trash can.

The second question is did you approach him and praise him for being such a natural educator and would he be interested in a new part time position.  If not, if it were me, I wouldn't appreciate you going behind my back for something I'm not interesting in doing.

Finally, by no means is it wrong to ask for help from people that are good at what they do, if they are willing.  

Good luck in your new role!

First, there's no actual part time educator position.  At least, not yet.  

Second, I thought it might be a good suggestion as I know this nurse prefers to work on the floor, but maybe he'd consider working as an educator part time.  I know he enjoys teaching.   It also seemed like a good way to get more staff trained when I'm not available.   And, no, he hasn't been approached but I thought maybe it would be something he would consider if he also got to work on the floor.   At this point, I didn't say anything to him, because I didn't want to bring it up if it wouldn't even be considered an option.   

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.
SilverBells said:

First, there's no actual part time educator position.  At least, not yet.  

Second, I thought it might be a good suggestion as I know this nurse prefers to work on the floor, but maybe he'd consider working as an educator part time.  I know he enjoys teaching.   It also seemed like a good way to get more staff trained when I'm not available.   And, no, he hasn't been approached but I thought maybe it would be something he would consider if he also got to work on the floor.   At this point, I didn't say anything to him, because I didn't want to bring it up if it wouldn't even be considered an option.   

That makes sense.  Find out first if it's a possibility then approach him.  Maybe even if there isn't a position, they would let him help you as needed.  But still the budget and hours would have to come out of the floor somehow.  Our manager sometimes did this, for example would have a charge nurse come in to do education or evaluations.

But you never know until you ask and we should always ask for what we need even if we know we won't get it.  I always during my evaluations and to anyone in upper management that will listen say the RN to patient ratios are difficult knowing they won't change, but they need to hear it.  

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