Becoming personally or intimately involved with patients or not?

  1. Hello, I am trying to obtain opinions on how people or nurses feel about other nurses becoming personally or intimately involved with their patients. I am open to all opinions so please let me know what you think. I would appreciate if you provide reasons or experiences as to why you have these opinions. Thank you for your time........
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   johngalt
    I will be starting a BSN program in a couple of weeks. It was suggested that I get started on some of the reading in advance of my first class. I have been reading Life Support by Suzanne Gordon. It profiles three nurses and idolizes their styles as the epitome of good nursing care. Frankly, and in my opinion, it is an absurd glorification of nurse over-involvement and co-dependent merging of the nurse with their patients. I can't figure out for the life of me who is paying for it. It appears that each nurse couldn't handle a patient load of more than 3 or 4 of these people. Ridiculous. Furthermore, the book is highly critical of physicians because they only administer to the patients medical needs. What's with that? If I wanted to be a social worker - I'd get my MSW. Suspect I'm going to be crosswise with my intructors on this issue from the get go.
  4. by   gwenith
    Depends on what you mean by "intimately involved" there are legal issues as well as sociological and psychological issues surrounding this.
  5. by   BadBird
    Sorry but I have to laugh at your question "on how people or nurses" :chuckle
    Yup, we nurses are not people, sorry just had to have a little fun here. Ok, to answer your question, you should definately NOT get involved with a patient, you are a professional doing a job, remember it is your job and let it go.
  6. by   1styear
    I think involvement with a psych pt is an obvious no-no, other than that as long as there is good judgment used and it doesn't disturb the pts care... why not? Good relationships and love should be encouraged wherever one may find it so long as it doesn't harm in the process. One that same note --one student in my class is dating a resident she met during our clinicals. It didn't impact on any of the other students and most of us thought it was great and encouraged her to go for it.
  7. by   Louisepug
    As far as "intimatly" (sp?) involved goes, as in dating your patient, I would say no way! It just doesn't seem very proffessional to me. As far as being very involved with that persons care and sincerely taking an interest in their lives, I would say, of course! I think this type of closeness would probably be developed more easily in LTC, because you are with the residents everyday. If it's just general med-surg type nursing, it seems that if the person is only in the hospital for a few days, you wouldn't really have time to get too close.
    Personally, I volunteer with hospice and I have really formed a close bond with my 2 patients. I'm moving in a few weeks to another state and will really miss them! How do you not form a close bond to someone when you visit them each week and really get to know them?
  8. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Two words: HECK NO!
  9. by   studentnurse74
    Quote from BadBird
    Sorry but I have to laugh at your question "on how people or nurses" :chuckle
    Yup, we nurses are not people, sorry just had to have a little fun here.

    Okay, nothing to do with the topic, but that is funny, and it reminds of when people always say their babies are starting to eat "people food". Drives me crazy!
  10. by   suzanne4
    Quote from 1styear
    I think involvement with a psych pt is an obvious no-no, other than that as long as there is good judgment used and it doesn't disturb the pts care... why not? Good relationships and love should be encouraged wherever one may find it so long as it doesn't harm in the process. One that same note --one student in my class is dating a resident she met during our clinicals. It didn't impact on any of the other students and most of us thought it was great and encouraged her to go for it.
    There is nothing wrong with dating a resident or ?; it shouldn't be a patient, especially during the time that you are caring for that patient. You are crossing over boundaries at that point.
  11. by   AmyLiz
    Never. 'Professional Boundaries' is something I totally believe in and practice. Care, yes...get too involved in, no.
  12. by   Rapheal
    Nope. Never. I have cared for some people I have known before they were in the hospital. I act very professionally and set boundries right away. Takes the pressure off both of us because they know that this is a patient nurse relationship- which means confidential in all ways. I also have turned down offers from patients who have asked me if I will be their private duty nurse when they are discharged. I really love my patients, but firm boundries prevent problems.
  13. by   ham22
    I don't see it as being in good practice either. It makes me wonder where his/her head is really at. I had a situation where it was not a Nusre -Patient thing but a Nurse and Patients family member thing.My ex brother-in-law became involved with a Nurse who was working at the Hospital where his brother was dying of cancer. I never had any respect for this woman and all I could think when I was around her was "How could you do that? Do you really even care about your patient who is terminally ill? Or are you thinking about what you and his brother are going to do on your date tonight?" I just felt like it was disrespectful. Also, for me personally when I am treating someone I am focused on giving them the best care I can and getting the task done in a professional manner. I don't feel like that includes asking them to dinner. Big Trouble if you ask me!
  14. by   Larry77
    Quote from 1styear
    I think involvement with a psych pt is an obvious no-no
    I think that is interesting because how many psych pt's are on medical floors...answer A LOT! If that is going to be your rule of thumb I would do some heavy research to figure out what kind of patient your dealing with. Besides psych patients aren't necessarily more dangerous--stigma.

    Admitedly I come from a psych background but I don't care what kind of patient you are I'm not going to get personally involved with you. I will be very compassionate and very personable but I have very strong boundaries.
    No offense just my opinion.
    Larry

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