Ethical question-being friends with a patient


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mianders, RN

236 Posts

Specializes in ER, Infusion therapy, Oncology. Has 13 years experience.

I work in an infusion suite and give a lot of chemotherapy. When my mom was diagnosed with cancer for the second time she was told she would have to go through more chemotherapy. She decided she did not want to do it unless I gave her the chemo. I went to the hospital administration and discussed it with them. They approved it and I gave my mother her chemo. There are times in a lot of nurses careers when they take care of someone they have a personal relationship with. Especially as one poster said you live in a small community. It is definately not an issue without concerns though.

locolorenzo22, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,396 Posts

Specializes in Ortho, Neuro, Detox, Tele.

You wouldn't lose your license unless you ABUSED that relationship and became guilty of fraud, theft, etc.....and convicted of same.

However, there are those patients you meet that you run into from time to time in public. They'll flag you down, and as long as you are respectful of boundries, there is no reason why they couldn't become a friend.

However, once you have that relationship, it would violate your boundries to be their nurse. So unless you have express permission, it's probably better to not be their nurse at all....just my .02 cents.

DutchgirlRN, ASN, RN

1 Article; 3,932 Posts

Specializes in OB, M/S, HH, Medical Imaging RN. Has 33 years experience.
welcome.gif welcome to all nurses!


1 Post

Here is what happened to me.

I did form a solid, platonic friendship with a former patient and my former employer reported me to the BON. I did not lose my license, but they required me to take eduction courses on boundaries and how violations can occur. It was interesting, indeed, but the whole ordeal has left a very bad feeling in my soul.

Nursing has changed so much over all of the years that I have worked as an RN. It was traumatic to be called into the BON and be interviewed by 4 people for 2 hours. Again, my license was not affected at all..but it also left me feeling nervous about making mistakes and I am fearful of being out of the "zone of helpfulness" and being not involved enough. I dont recommend it, as it was terribly stressful.

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