Crossing the line of professionalism

  1. Is there anything wrong with becoming personally involved with a client? How do you as a nurse maintain professional relationships with your patients? What are some warning signs that the professional relationship is becoming unprofessional?
    •  
  2. 72 Comments

  3. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by slugirl
    Is there anything wrong with becoming personally involved with a client? How do you as a nurse maintain professional relationships with your patients? What are some warning signs that the professional relationship is becoming unprofessional?
    Your question sounds like you may have already crossed this line.
    Ask your self this.
    Does this patient compliment me a lot about things that do not concern my professional care, and do I find I have strong emoational feeling about these compliments?
    Do I find myself telling this patinent about my personal life and he/she is very interested? Most patients are not interested or only politely interested
    Do I try to fix everything for this patient?
    Does he/she occupy my off duty thoughts beyond 5-10 minutes a day every day?
    Do I look forward to going to work just because this patient is there?
    Would I be very disappointed if I was not assigned to this patient?
    Do I feel I give this patient better care than anyone else?
    Do I feel no one else cares about/for this patient as I do or as well as I do?
    If I were not assigned to this patient would I make a point of spending time with him/her anyway? More time than I would spend with another patient who is not mine?
    Does being in this person's presence give me a special kind of happiness, more than anyone else?
    Do you spend more time with this patient than others even when others may have greater or at least equal needs?

    If so, then you may have a problem. Since you are a student talk with your instructor about this. You may need to be reassigned.

    Limit what you reveal about yourself to patients. Realize this patient is not your loved one. Treat them with respect. Learn that flattery is just that. Look at situations in a professional analytical way.
    Back off when you feel you are getting too involved. Ask to be reasigned if necessary and then stay out of that room. When you are assigned to this patient do what you have to do and leave, don't linger in the room.
    Give your other patients the same care attention. It sounds like you have too few patients to keep you bussy enough so this won't happen. Students often have only 1-2 patients and so you have a lot of time on your hands. Ask to watch or do procedures with other patients, ask to accompany another patient to the OR, or x-ray for some other proceedure. Find out how you can help the nurses on the floor in ways that take you away from this patient. You have a job to do either as a student or a nurse. That job suffers if your time and thoughts are on this one patient. Do things for the nurses, doing all thier vitals, or running an errand, make beds etc.
    Whether a nurse or a student, there are more patients than yours. If you have enough time to get involved with one patient than some other nurse could use your assistance, as you obviously have too much time and she does not. While you are helping her you could discuss your concerns about involvement.
    Last edit by Agnus on Jan 28, '03
  4. by   researchrabbit
    In my years in psychiatry, we were told that any relationship with any patient outside of the office was not professional. And, as a general rule, I'd say this is appropriate for that area. Vulnerable patients and people they view as "in charge" are usually not a good mix for outside relationships.

    Many of my former patients live close to me. If I see them out and about, I let THEM acknowledge me, or not. I certainly don't want to embarass anyone.

    That said, a woman I worked with and one of our patients (who was very much into political activism)) forged a wonderful working relationship which became a lifelong friendship.

    I don't know what the standard is for other areas, but a professional distance is probably safest all around.
  5. by   Buddha
    My sister in-law who was a CNA took home one of her charges d/t
    "he was too young to be a resident in LTC" she was then immeadeatly fired for assisting a Pt leave AMA. I think then she has regretted it d/t the numerous difficulties. She knew at the time of his residence at the ECF he had family whom he told her that "don't care for me." I hate to say it and it sounds cruel but if a Pt is in a skilled nursing facility there is a reason for it(usually)
  6. by   katscan
    wasn't this question posted yesterday, also???
  7. by   niteshiftnurse
    I totally agree with Agnus
  8. by   emily_mom
    Agnus rocks....

    Kristy
  9. by   PennyLane
    Originally posted by katscan
    wasn't this question posted yesterday, also???
    yes, but by a different user. I suspect two accounts by the same person?
  10. by   ayemmeff
    Originally posted by Mel D
    yes, but by a different user. I suspect two accounts by the same person?
    Oh,thank goodness!....thought I was becoming clairvoyant!!!
  11. by   opalmRN
    ayemmeff,

    Heck I always thought you were clairvoyant, you mean your not?

    I'm so depressed.
    C
  12. by   katscan
    Thanks guys, for a moment, I thought I was losing it.....
  13. by   ayemmeff
    Originally posted by opalm
    ayemmeff,

    Heck I always thought you were clairvoyant, you mean your not?

    I'm so depressed.
    C
    Just had a quick look in my crystal ball, and I see Love in the shape of a gorgeous stranger,a lottery win and a happy future ahead of you,sweetie!:kiss :chuckle :chuckle
    Last edit by ayemmeff on Jan 28, '03
  14. by   Agnus
    ayemmeff, LOVE your prayer. By the way amemmeff is one heck of a mouth full. I bet you stole that handle and it is really a handwritten MD order.

close