Former client in home health

by consumer consumer (New) New


Why can't a nurse and a patient be friends after the patient is no longer a patient, or client? I recently stopped working for a home Healthcare company. I was told that I can never see my clients in any way ever again.

I spent 10 hours a week a disabled man. He's upset, because he thinks that he'll never see me again. (he's older than my dad, so it's not a sexual thing).

I'm wondering why I can't be friends with someone after our working/client relationship ended. How would I be violating Hippa if I stopped by to visit him. (I admit, I miss seeing his Basset Hound very much!)

He's made it clear that he couldn't care less about who I tell anything to.... We live in a rural setting. I guess I need some direction here please?


38,333 Posts

Do what you want to do, just don’t make an issue of it. Attempt to visit when you know there won’t be an agency employee present.



Has 10 years experience. 2 Posts

As long as you no longer have the nurse-patient relationship, who’s says that you can’t? From a supervisory perspective it is the first step toward blurring the line that is the nurse/patient boundary. To each their own. It is kind of you to genuinely care about your former patient and recognize that he likely does need a friend. Best to you!

ruby_jane, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing. Has 13 years experience. 3,142 Posts

What is your agency's policy on this kind of contact? If there's a definite policy prohibiting you, then don't.



Specializes in retired LTC. 7,735 Posts

Am reading this late, but it got me thinking. Some employers do prohibit any staff/client contact post-employee departure. Personal issues aside, it may have more to do with the possibility that the old employer fears the client being 'pirated' away for future services. That represents loss of income for the original service provider.

Many other professions do the same - from hair dressers to lawn service to tax preparers to realtors, etc, etc. The policy serves to deter the loss of an established client Like such a similar policy even exists with agency nurses being prohibited from being hired by a client facility who used the agency. All just to protect incoming revenue.

Now as to personal issues, it's often amazing to the point of being unbelievable what some service care providers learn about the clients and/or connected family/friends. All kinds of the 'dirty linen' type of info comes to mind. And then there's all those psycho-social issues on anybody's part that further muddies relationships.

I guess it'd be NO big deal if OP were to schedule an infreq visit or 2 - keeping it short & simple. I have a guess that the relationship will soon unravel and fade after a short time, kind of like those not-so-long-lasting school-hood promise-to-be-friends-forever-type friendships.

Hannahbanana, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Physiology, CM, consulting, nsg edu, LNC, COB. Has 52 years experience. 1,187 Posts

You cannot know whether/if his "Just want to be friends, don't care who knows it" pivots on a dime, or he becomes more incapacitated and his family thinks you're getting too close, or whether completely unbeknownst to you he dies and leaves you a small fortune, and his family sues you for having undue influence over him. That will mean the BON will stick their nose in, and who knows where that will go.

Just don't go there. If you already have a contract that says no, then that means no. If you are no longer employed by that employer and you never work for somebody else who provides him services, you could probably do this. It's not a HIPAA violation, but it may be objectionable to your employer.

I konw exactly how this feels, been there. But I agree with amoLucia that it's better to let it go and ....

On 6/19/2020 at 6:01 PM, amoLucia said:

unravel and fade after a short time, kind of like those not-so-long-lasting school-hood promise-to-be-friends-forever-type friendships.


Had the same situation happen. I continued being friends but I have to agree, these policies seem pointless IMO.