Crossing Professional Boundaries

  1. I am interested in collecting ideas of how to respond to a patient when you feel that a boundary is being crossed. For example, I had a patient as me to go out for coffee after he was discharged and I was not prepared how to answer this question. I simply stated that my governing body did not allow for this type of interaction.

    Any phrases that work for anyone would be very helpful so that I am prepared to respond appropriately in the future.

    thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   begalli
    You could say something like, "thank you I'm flattered, but as a professional, it would be unethical for me to go out with you under any circumstances."

    I've had to turn down gifts in the past. Gifts that were way over the line. Once was a cash gift, another time, jewelry. I felt so bad. I knew these families want to show their appreciation so I recommended they bring a box of chocolates for everyone.

    Don't know what youcould recommend to this patient. Maybe the personal ads?! :chuckle j/k

    Here, check out this thread.
    Last edit by begalli on Jan 24, '05
  4. by   Q.
    Quote from begalli
    I knew these families want to show their appreciation so I recommended they bring a box of chocolates for everyone.

    I've also recommended that they donate money to the hospital foundation or philanthropic body in recognition of the nursing care they recieved. The money is often used for purchasing new equipment or things like offering nursing CEU's, getting outside speakers, etc.
  5. by   saskrn
    I've had patients give me small gifts before, although I strongly declined. My manager said they were small, so it was ok.

    Anyways, if a patient asked me out, I would say something like "sorry, I ethically can't do that, but I appreciate your offer". When patients cross the line and speak to me inappropriately or touch me, I simply say "that is inappropriate behaviour, and won't be tolerated". It's simple, but has always worked, well, most of the time anyways. :stone
  6. by   leslie :-D
    i agree with sasky about the firm limit setting re: touching and really crossing the line.
    otherwise a simple "that is not possible but thanks anyway" should suffice.

    leslie

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