Watching a coworker fall in love with a psych pt

  1. Yikes I am actually a student, and just finished a wonderful psych rotation. A fellow student, I noticed was getting very personal with one of the pts. She would spend most of her time with him, only talk about him, started wearing low cut shirts (we did not have to wear scrubs) and tanning. They talked about personal things in her life. He complimented her a lot and I think she felt very flattered because she is a bigger girl and maybe not used to this kind of flattery. The pt was very charming and manipulative. I knew something was going on with her, and thought maybe a crush. I told my instructor but then the course was over and figured there was no need to worry about it any longer. I have found out that she is now dating this person! And planning to see him when he gets out. He is certified! I am concerned for her safety but am not very close with her so it is not like i can sit down and have a heart to heart talk with her. Although this pt is doing better and is very charming, he has no insight into his illness and will quit his meds when he is out. He is schizoaffective, bipolar, and has narcissistic personality disorder. He has multiple paranoid delusions and when off meds, even tried to strangle his mother and sister. I do not want to get her kicked out of the program by telling on her, but I am so worried for her safety. Ultimately she is going to wind up hurt in some way or another.
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   NewEastCoastRN
    Oh boy, that is so scary and I am sorry to say stupid on the part of your fellow student. It is a no-no to get involved with patients, and not a very good idea EVER to get involved with someone like that until they get their crap together. Do you feel close enough to this person to say anything?
  4. by   Phenomenon
    Nope, not close with her at all enough to speak to her about it. All she ever talked to me about was him. It is stupid move on her part, but you would have to meet him to see how effectively charming he can be, although that is not an excuse for what she has done. Just wondering what role i should play in this. Should I let her be and do her own thing and mind my own business?:uhoh21:
  5. by   NewEastCoastRN
    That is really hard to say. Hopefully someone on the board has gone through this and can give you some advice. I guess what I would do in your situation is just stay out of it. If you aren't comfortable confronting her, then don't. She is an adult and can make her own decisions. If you find out that somehow her well-being is threatened, then would be a good time to step in.
  6. by   Katnip
    You should probably do nothing. It sounds like she wouldn't listen even if you did talk to her. Unfortunately this is one of life's lessons she will need to learn the hard way.
  7. by   kids
    I can understand not wanting to get her in trouble, BUT...if it were me I would report the relationship. It may do no good as protecting her (from him) but this sort of relationship violates the Nurse Prctice Act in many states and from what little you have told us I get the impression that nursing may not be the best career choice for her at this time.
  8. by   Phenomenon
    Yes, I too am wondering if anyone has dealt with this before? Have you ever gotten involved with a pt or has someone you know done so? What has been the end result? It always helps to hear from someone who has dealt with this kind of thing. It makes it even more complex that he has these serious psych issues and is a possible danger......
  9. by   Q.
    If she is a student, I don't believe the Nurse Practice Act governs any of her behavior. The school would have to take action, if they felt it appropriate. And, is it?
    Is the student still providing care to the patient? It doesn't sound like it if the rotation is over and she is no longer giving direct care. There is no nurse-patient relationship. I think at this point their relationship falls under the will of two adult private individuals not governed by any authority.
    She will learn her own lesson.
  10. by   Agnus
    You stated that she is a student. Chances are your instructor is observant enough that she too has noticed something.

    I would express my concerns for her to my instructor. This in my mind is the only right thing for you to do at this time. You will not get her kicked out only she can get herself kicked out. As you said she is an adult. As another poster stated this is a a violation of ethics at the very least.

    Please, give your instructors and the staff more credit. They see low cut tops, they hear and observe that is thier job. Adding your observations to the mix will not cause her "trouble" but doing so may insure that both she and the patient remain safe.

    Your actions may be the thing that prompts counselling for this young woman on dealing with this type of patient. If she cannot seperate herself no matter how charming and manipulative the patient then she is a danger to both herself and her patients and should leave.

    Please, do not think for one second that a psyc unit is the only place where you will run across this type of person. It is imperative that you express your concerns to your instructor and leave it at that. This is too important for you a student or anyone to handle on thier own.
  11. by   jemommyRN
    I'm not so sure about this situation because, even if you tell the school, they can not prevent her from dating who she wants. I think that I would just talk to her and tell her how you feel when she brings it up again. You don't want to tell someone in authority and have the word spread around school because it leaked out and then everyone's looking at you like you shouldv'e mind your own business. I would tell her face to face and let it go.
  12. by   leslie :-D
    i am 100% w/agnus on this. immediately report your conversation w/this student to your instructor or even above her. one of the 1st things you're taught as a student is not to get involved w/pts....and this patient is potentially dangerous, even more reason to report it yesterday.

    leslie
  13. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Don't forget the patient; he is in a somewhat potential vulnerable position. It's a violation of an ethical trust/relationship between health care provider and patient. Report it asap.
  14. by   caramel
    I think your friend needs psychotherapy, because she is not thinking clearly to date this patient, knowing his history.

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