Best way to ask out a patient - page 4

by bossfrog | 9,524 Views | 131 Comments

Okay, I know many are about to jump on here and say, "NO!!!! DON'T DO IT!!!!" but first, hear me out. First, let me be clear that I have NOT acted unprofessionally in any way in this situation. Now, let me give you the... Read More


  1. 2
    On one hand this could be your soul mate, on the other hand this could put your job and license (somewhat) at risk. My opinion is that you have already crossed the boundaries because you are developing further feelings for this patient and it sounds as if she is doing the same. The problem is that you are in a position of power and trust at a time when she is vulnerable. As soon as you felt these feelings, I would have recommended you quit taking care of this patient.

    I hope everything works out great for you but if you are in the relationship and it ends bad, she can put you in a very bad place. Boards of nursing typically frown on this, although it happens rather often. I definitely would not ask her out this week.

    It may not be what you want to hear, but my honest advice to you. We are all human.
    Mary C and GilaRRT like this.
  2. 0
    I agree with most posters, tell her you might run into her at the Y or DQ and check out her response. As long as your role as a nurse is over, then I see no reason not to be approachable. Good luck and keep us posted.
  3. 0
    i kind of agree with some of the above posts. when you're in the hospital one can tend to be very vulnerable. i mean she can't go anywhere for the time being, so she may seem like someone to go out with, because she's all listening and of course she's right there when u go 2 her room, u don't have 2 go looking 4 her. but what's gonna happen n the real world when she doesn't "need" u anymore? just some more food 4 thought. besides, reading your post u don't sound like u r "wanting" 4 nothing n the dating field.
  4. 0
    let her get discharged, then accidentally run into her while working out at the YMCA.....hmm....and after working out a little ice cream ia a good start...but i would def wait for her discharge



    BUT Let us know i want to know how it works out!
  5. 4
    I am rather concerned so many people see this as romantic and cute. We are talking about engaging in actions that can potentially take advantage of our patients vulnerabilities.

    I agree, distance yourself from this patient. You cease to be an effective professional caregiver once you develop personal romantic feelings for a patient.

    You both are adults and are free to make adult decisions. However, expect adult consequences when you make adult decisions. This could end quite badly for both you and the said patient.
    Last edit by GilaRRT on Oct 9, '08 : Reason: Must learn how to spell.
    mrsraisinkain, Nurse Salt, Noryn, and 1 other like this.
  6. 0
    Quote from GilaRN
    I am rather concerned so many people see this as romantic and cute. We are talking about engaging in actions that can potentially take advantage of our patients vulnerabilities.
    I'd imagine if after time has passed and she is better and reciprocates his tentative advance that everything would be kosher.

    If it's not kosher I'm sure she will let it be known.
  7. 0
    I am very close friends with many of my former (and current!) pts, having met them through a Birth Center where I worked for many years. It's a smallish community, and if I click well with someone, why would I not continue a friendship with them? My husband's two best friends are the husbands of some of my favorite birth center clients. I taught their childbirth classes, was their nurse for many of their office visits, and was at their births; I just could tell that our families would mesh. So after a couple of months, I called them up and invited their family for dinner. Our families have be so close ever since.

    I have had pts abuse this relationship with me--you do have to set clear boundaries. Friendship (or more) because of a personal attraction and very like minds is fine--NOT fine if it is purely one of you is a nurse and can help the other. Whether it is the pt who wants to have a nurse, or a nurse who enjoys having the pt dependent upon him/her. I have unfortunately twice had someone try to abuse a friendship with me because they wanted, basically, their own personal nurse (a gross simplification of the situations, but that's what it boiled down to each time). I terminated those relationships immediately. I don't mind helping my friends out when something medical comes along. I just don't want to you cultivate a friendship with me for the purpose of being able to have a nurse visit whenever you want so that you don't have to pay for a doc visit, or to try to trick me into performing a homebirth that you wanted but can't pay for ("Hey, Jean, I really don't know if I'm in labor and hate to drive all the way for a check if it's not the real thing, could you come and check me?" Then when I get there, "Actually I'm pretty sure I'm in labor, but everything feels so right, I hate the thought of driving to the birth center. Could be maybe just do it here? I trust you. I won't tell anyone." Me: "Uh, hell no. Get in the car now or I'm calling an ambulance.").

    If you get the feeling she is just latching onto you because you appear strong, caring, and helpful--in other words, she's latching onto you because you are a NURSE--bad idea. If, though, you being a nurse is purely coincidental, go for it.

    I personally would wait several weeks before you show up at the YMCA or Dairy Queen. Then, if you do meet her and you hook up, you've allowed time for this power balance to equal out. She's not quite so vulnerable, you aren't quite so powerful. You can then allow the relationship to go from there.
  8. 4
    My stomach started churning the second I read the thread title. I thought, this has to be a joke, or maybe this phrase will end with something completely other than what it sounds like... because what it sounds like is unethical, an abuse of power, and completely trashes any therapeutic relationship.

    I'm a 20 something. I think I'm pretty cute. I have had attractive 20 something male patients. And I acknowledge the way I feel and readjust myself to maintain a strictly professional relationship. If I were to feel something, I would request not to have him back again. I can't imagine having a patient and having my mind "go there". God Forbid, if it did "go there" i can't believe I could rationalize DATING this person.

    I was in the hospital when I was 18. I flirted with the cute resident who came to assess my scar the next day. But had the guy pursued it in any meaningful way, I would have been creeped out. I was bored and lonely and hungry for any attention I could get. I didn't feel well and was scared and vulnerable. Of course I loved that the hot resident flirted back.

    That doesn't mean that it wouldn't have been a gross overstepping of boundaries nor trashing his professional reputation. At the very best you could fall in love with someone that you were professionally responsible for at a very vulnerable time in their life. At the very worst, it could go badly and you could risk your professional career.

    I normally don't have harsh opinions, and I don't like to tread on people's toes. But I really thought by now someone would have said DON'T!
    Last edit by Mary C on Oct 9, '08 : Reason: used boundaries too many times :)
    Nurse Salt, hollyberry678, GilaRRT, and 1 other like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    i like the meeting after the patient/nurse relatonship is over
    is it the really smart thing to do
    It's not only the smart thing, it's the only thing!

    I don't remember exactly who put them out or I'd give the citation, but there are ethical guidelines for those who want to pursue a personal relationship with former clients. I believe it's recommended that you wait at least 6 months before trying.

    The issue isn't just approaching a client while actually caring for her. There are normal positive feelings that happen toward someone who has helped you to feel better ... the ethical issue is one of capitalizing on those normal reactions.

    The time lag gives the client the opportunity to put those feelings into perspective and meet you as an equal, rather than as a dependant receiver of care.

    I think the suggestion of joining the Y is a good one ... it gives the opportunity to strike up an acquaintance outside the caregiving environment ... just be exquisitely careful and GO SLOW!

    If you jump into this and it goes sour, it could have real repercussions on your license. You might want to check with your BON regarding this.
  10. 3
    Quote from GilaRN
    I am rather concerned so many people see this as romantic and cute. We are talking about engaging in actions that can potentially take advantage of our patients vulnerabilities.

    I agree, distance yourself from this patient. You cease to be an effective professional caregiver once you develop personal romantic feelings for a patient.

    You both are adults and are free to make adult decisions. However, expect adult consequences when you make adult decisions. This could end quite badly for both you and the said patient.

    I agree here, run away from the situation. Run like the Devil is after you. This might make a cute story line on General Hospital. But that is all. Totally ill advised.
    Mary C, hollyberry678, and GilaRRT like this.


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top