Inappropriate relationship with pt?

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    What do you feel about nurses crossing the line? How do you feel about nurses having sexual/personal relationships with patients? Is it right or wrong? What are some warning signs that a relationship is crossing the line? How can we maintain professional relationships?
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    I used to work in a nursing home, it was discovered that one of the CNA's who worked there was having a relationship with one of the patients, this patient was relatively young to be in a nursing home, he was a veteran and was an amputee. He used to get furlough passes to leave the facility once or twice a week, his friend would pick him up, then take him to meet this CNA we all worked with and they would spend time together. When their relationship was discovered, she was fired. They ended up getting married and she took him out of the facility to care for him at home. I agreed with her getting fired, I feel that we as nurses, nurse assistants, whatever we may be, have a responsibility not to see our patients in a sexual light. We are there to take care of them and that is all. I think it is our professional duty to not act on any feelings we may have for our patients, just as it would be inappropriate for a college professor to date one of their students. I don't think having a relationship with a patient is professional and I certainly wouldn't do it. JMO.
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    Quote from DeeDee*
    What do you feel about nurses crossing the line? How do you feel about nurses having sexual/personal relationships with patients? Is it right or wrong? What are some warning signs that a relationship is crossing the line? How can we maintain professional relationships?
    Even innocent flirting is bad. Even remarks positive or negative about the attractiveness of a patient is bad. If I've been telling a female patient how pretty she is, I am telling her that it is "good" to be "pretty." How then will she feel when I have to do perineal care and she is mensturating? We must strive to serve the needs (physical and psychological) of the patient. We must not use the patient to serve our physical and psychological needs. It's not even a good idea to be "friends" with a patient. Friends serve each other's needs. We have therapeutic relationships with patients, the satisfying of needs goes only one way--from us to them. When they have been discharged, then we can have social relationships. But not before. They need us when they are sick; they don't have the strength to do for themselves, much less for us. IMHO.

    Acosmic
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    It's inappropriate.

    I couldn't imagine a personal relationship with my patients. I don't feel uncomfortable if they come back from time to time to say hi or if I see them around town and they say hi but I would never plan to meet them or anything like that. I've had a few ask my phone number and I won't give it out.

    I agree with the person who said that it's a therapeutic relationship. The closest thing i have to compare it with is the relationship of a parent to child. It is intimate in it's own way but has well defined boundaries and if they are crossed it becomes a sick and perverted thing destructive to both.
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    I generally feel that relationships with patients are a bad idea due to the fact that staff members have "one up" on them during an illness. However, there may be instances where a relationship develops that is mutual. Unless one person is mentally incompetent I dont really think it is necessarily a huge breach of professionalism. In all my years of nursing, I have never had a romantic relationship develop with a patient or family member. Does it happen often? Have I missed something?
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    I've got to agree with the replies to the original post so far even though the soft spot inside me says that this particular situation should be "let slide". Undoubtably there will always be exceptions but as a professional I have to behave in a way that is professional at all times. On occasionI have found myself attracted to female clients but I realise that I am in an unequal partnership in these interactions. As a health care provider I am at an advantage over my client in that, what is routine to me, may well be a big deal to a client, (with little knowledge of the health system) as it stands. As health care providers we often become "closer" to some clients than others. That is what makes us different from other professions, (the "human" aspect).
    Additionally I have conditions on my practicing licence which means I have high standards to uphold. These conditions are put in place to protect the public and we would lose credibility if they were allowed to become meaningless.
    To sum it up, if you feel emotional or sexual feelings towards a client?
    Get reassigned to another client! (a crusty old one who smells!) :P
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    Inappropriate flirtatious relationships are wrong however I met and married one of my patients 20 years ago and do not regret nor do I feel it was wrong.
    We did not carry on in the hospital and only picked up after he was discharged. Not sure what the problem necessarily is as we could have met 'on the street' so what is the difference if we acted like responsible adults.
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    In most situations I beleive it to be wrong to have a relationship with a pt. on the other hand if I met a pt on the srteet some time (as in a year after) and they asked me out i would consider saying yes.
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    Quote from DeeDee*
    What do you feel about nurses crossing the line? How do you feel about nurses having sexual/personal relationships with patients? Is it right or wrong? What are some warning signs that a relationship is crossing the line? How can we maintain professional relationships?
    Hello Dee Dee

    If you are like me, and have this topic for a school assignment, I'd like to share links within this site that touch on the same or similar info:

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...onship+patient

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...onship+patient

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68579

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...nal+boundaries

    http://allnurses.com/forums/showthre...nal+boundaries

    Hope this helps and saves you some time
  12. 0
    At a facility I used to work at, there was this CNA that developed a sexual relationship with a quadaplegic patient who was on a vent. She left her husband for this man. Eventually, administration found out and she was fired. I don't know what the deal with that was. There was also this social worker at my facility who got involved with a patient. He comes to visit her all the time. I can't help but feel that that was so inappropriate. As a rule, I think nurses caring for patients as well as any other member of the health care team should not get involved with patients. It is sooo unprofessional.
    Pokey


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