Crossing professional boundary. | allnurses

Crossing professional boundary.

  1. 0 These questions are for any nurses who would like to respond.

    Do you know of any situations in your nursing history regarding a nurse crossing professional boundaries?

    How do we maintain professional relationships? What are some warning signs that the professional relationship the becoming unprofessional? Is there anything wrong with becoming personally involved with a client?

    Nursing Student (SLU)
    Helen
  2. Visit  helen21186 profile page

    About helen21186

    From 'Louisiana'; 29 Years Old; Joined Jan '07; Posts: 4.

    22 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  nama262 profile page
    0
    My facility actually has a policy on becoming personally involved with patients.
    You can (and will) be fired for crossing that line. The policy goes so far as to state that a staff member cannot become involved with a patient unitl at least 6 months has passed from his/her discharge date.
    I recently had to say goodbye to a very good nurse who decided to ignore the policy and was fired for dating a patient before he was fully discharged.
    It seems unfair but the policy is actually there to protect the patients and the staff. If you can't decide on a personal level what the right thing to do is, check your facility's policies... it could save your job!
  4. Visit  helen21186 profile page
    0
    What are some warning signs that the professional relationship the becoming unprofessional? Is there anything wrong with becoming personally involved with a client?
  5. Visit  VegRN profile page
    0
    Yes, I have a good story.
    I know a nurse who is married to a patient that she took care of. On his discharge he gave her his phone number and they ended up getting married. I think that is extremely unprofessional and I wonder what was happening while he was still admitted.
    Of course it's wrong to become personally involved with a client. The nurse-patient relationship is there for the health needs of the patient, nothing more.
    Warning signs would be: thinking about that particular patient on your days off, looking forward to taking care of the patient, doing things for that patient that you wouldn't typically do for other patients, sharing personal information with the patient and the list goes on.
    If a patient is asking for personal information and things that cross the line, you need to stop the patient. You have a professional obligation to do so, you shouldn't be blending social relationships with the people you care for.
  6. Visit  Simplepleasures profile page
    0
    In the LTC I used to work in, the PM shift supervisor started a romance with a CNA, caused MUCH hard feelings among the staff, due to real and percieved favoritism, quite a few employees went to the Administration,to ask them to at least seperate the two off the same unit, same shift and the only answer they recieved was, "its none of your business!" " I trust her judgement explicitly!". I agree that what goes on away from the facility is none of our business, but they made no bones about being a couple at work, "honey" this and "honey" that, etc. I guess after the PM shift supervisor's CNA boyfriend was arrested at work, the administration finally agreed to have them work differnt shifts or different floors. Can you imagine calling your supervisor "honey"? HA!
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Jan 24, '07
  7. Visit  helen21186 profile page
    0
    Sometimes it isn't so noticable. I think that people shouldn't get away with having a nurse-patient relationship. Sometimes it could be discriminatory to others and disrespectful. Having a certain amount of time from the patient's discharged date is a good policy in my eyes.
  8. Visit  helen21186 profile page
    0
    If anyone has any more stories about crossing the line in regards to nurse-patient relationships please feel free to post. I am finding it very interesting and beneficial.
  9. Visit  Soup Turtle profile page
    0
    Quote from VegRN
    Yes, I have a good story.
    I know a nurse who is married to a patient that she took care of. On his discharge he gave her his phone number and they ended up getting married. I think that is extremely unprofessional and I wonder what was happening while he was still admitted.
    Of course it's wrong to become personally involved with a client. The nurse-patient relationship is there for the health needs of the patient, nothing more.
    Warning signs would be: thinking about that particular patient on your days off, looking forward to taking care of the patient, doing things for that patient that you wouldn't typically do for other patients, sharing personal information with the patient and the list goes on.
    If a patient is asking for personal information and things that cross the line, you need to stop the patient. You have a professional obligation to do so, you shouldn't be blending social relationships with the people you care for.
    I have a relative who married a patient's son. Nothing went on until the patient was discharged, but then they started talking and one thing led to another.
  10. Visit  Batman24 profile page
    0
    As long as the patient is discharged before any romantic or sexual relationship starts up I have no problem with it.
  11. Visit  MS._Jen_RN profile page
    0
    Quote from Batman24
    As long as the patient is discharged before any romantic or sexual relationship starts up I have no problem with it.
    Same here.
    I know 3 nurses who have married men who were their patients when they met and one who dated a guy who was formerly a patient. I know that in at least 2 of those cases the guy asked for the RN's phone number on the last day they saw them as a patient. I never heard of any innappropiate behavior on eigther side of the equation. All of the relationships started after the patient had been discharged.
    ~Jen
  12. Visit  bordeaux67 profile page
    0
    Here's my story...


    My wife is a nurse and has formed a friendship with a young M early 20's patient of hers. He's not in great health and I'm sure she cares for him in a maternal way and just wishes he gets better. My question is where do you draw the line? It's obvious they are friends at the clinic she works in. You can tell they are on friendly terms. I'm afraid boundaries may be tested though.

    Recently I found out they communicated outside of work for several days by txt and cell when he was in the hospital (unafilliated with my wife's work) for a 3 day stay. My wife was so concerned that she called the hospital relentlessly until they were able to at least touch bases. After the initial contact, they texted and called each other fairly regularly until he was released from the hospital (2-3x a day). He even asked my wife to pick him up from the hospital after discharge. She declined. Keep in mind this is not romantic. I am sure.

    I wish him nothing but the best but I feel that they should not be that comfy being buddies when she's off duty as this cuts into our family time. I can honestly say I think she's obsessed with his situation and it's confusing me . When she gets home, conversation quickly turns to this patient of hers non-stop. Isn't there a sort of code of conduct between nurses and patients that shouldn't be crossed? I know this isn't romantic but it still bothers me. any thoughts because I'm confused? btw, he's married and my greatest argument is his wife and family should serve as his support once he leaves my wife's clinic each week. I believe his wife may have questioned this behavior on at least one occasion so I feel semi-justified in my feelings. Please don't think bad about my wife, she's the greatest wife/mom to our kids. My issues are what are the boundaries between nurse/patient? The second issue is that I feel our family could be getting "cheated" out of family time. I just can't come to terms with this obsession as I call it.
  13. Visit  abbylee1211 profile page
    0
    I have a sort of related experience...

    Went into the hospital with a ruptured ovarian cyst (what a boat load of fun that was!) was initially seen by an ER doctor who then returned to tell me he was leaving me in the VERY capable hands of another ER doctor... A few weeks after I'm discharged, I run into the 1st ER doctor while at work (I had just started working NICU before getting sick) and he stops me in the hall. He explains why he passed me onto another doctor... he had seen me before & had wanted to ask me out. No WAY was he going to treat me as a patient. Well, 2 years later, we're married So I think there are ways to go about this sort of thing, and ways not to do it. He was discreet, never made any sort of indication he was interested until I was a) not his patient, b) not a patient at the hospital at all... See, it can be done in a non-sketchy way! And now we have very little interaction at work unless we intentionally meet up. Just my .02.
  14. Visit  queenjean profile page
    0
    I worked in an independent birthing center, and part of the appeal (for both the clients and the staff) is that there is none of the "it is unprofessional to become involved with your patients" kind of thing. Many of my closest friends are people whose birth I attended, or whose childbirth classes I taught. Of course, I didn't become best friends with everyone. And we all remained professional in terms of our roles while in the clinical setting. There are still professional boundaries, and for example, I do not give my phone number out to my clients--I do give my email, though, so that they can ask questions about classes. At the hosptial I do not develop these relationships with my patients. The setting is just so different, not conducive to developing personal relationships for many different reasons.

    I think it is nice to have my practitioners, especially the ones I see over and over, and with whom I have experienced a very intense experience, to become more than just my "nurse" or my "doctor." I trust them more. Our pts at the birth center always comment on how much more respected they feel, how much they trust us, and how they feel that we are honestly concerned with their wellbeing. We get comments all the time to the effect of "the hospital nurses are so cold," or "it seems like it's just a job for the hospital docs." The hospital setting is just different, designed to serve large numbers of people in an efficient (well, relatively) manner. It's not designed for close, personal care. Birth centers, LTC, and hospice are some settings that I can think of where the rules or definitions of "professional boundaries" are different than the acute care setting at the hospital.

    It's a gray line. I think if it is a power thing, or feels wrong to anyone involved, then it probably is over the line. But different strokes for different folks, you know?


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