Jump to content

Friends

Posted

Specializes in Long term care. Has 13 years experience.

I work in long term care. I have become friends with a resident who is 15 years my senior. I am happily married and my husband has no issue with this friendship. I am always an hour early for work. I was outside drinking coffee and this resident came out. He enjoyed our conversation and it gave him an hour of "normalcy". we now have coffee in the morning before I start my shift. We are not in his room. We are outside of the building where anyone can see. He looks forward to our coffee time. Our conversation has NEVER been inappropriate or crossed the line. Is there anything wrong with giving this man his time of normalcy? He has no family to speak of and has befriended a few of us. We have become his support system and friend.

Being supportive is completely acceptable. Seeing him as anything more than one of your patients is crossing a line and could spell trouble in the future. Probably best not to make these coffee dates a regular thing no matter how innocent they are.

I have a patient that I first met as his nurse. I ended up joining a rather large club that he, unbeknownst to me, was also a member. We became friends. He is still a patient in my facility. I no longer provide any nursing care to him whatsoever. It’s one or the other but not both.

Sour Lemon

Has 11 years experience.

9 hours ago, Luckyone13 said:

I work in long term care. I have become friends with a resident who is 15 years my senior. I am happily married and my husband has no issue with this friendship. I am always an hour early for work. I was outside drinking coffee and this resident came out. He enjoyed our conversation and it gave him an hour of "normalcy". we now have coffee in the morning before I start my shift. We are not in his room. We are outside of the building where anyone can see. He looks forward to our coffee time. Our conversation has NEVER been inappropriate or crossed the line. Is there anything wrong with giving this man his time of normalcy? He has no family to speak of and has befriended a few of us. We have become his support system and friend.

It's not something I would do.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

This man who is charming enough to befriend the nurses, but has no family to speak of and presumably no outside friends visiting would make me wonder. Why not? I would keep my distance.

Another reason I would not get overly involved is my firm belief that all deserve equal attention from me. To some extent, all of them are lonely. Not fair to those you don’t go out of your way to visit.

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 10 years experience.

It is a dangerous line to walk. Professional boundaries can be blurry. It isn't only about what it does for this gentleman. It is about how it could influence him, how it might impact him if you change jobs, die or move or get told by your employer to stop it. It is about how it may make other residents feel who don't get this kind of special treatment.

Rather than doing this yourself I would encourage those of you befriending him to facilitate the residents finding ways to do this for one another.

Davey Do

Specializes in around 25 years psych, 15years medical. Has 42 years experience.

18 hours ago, Luckyone13 said:

I work in long term care. I have become friends with a resident who is 15 years my senior. I am happily married and my husband has no issue with this friendship. I am always an hour early for work. I was outside drinking coffee and this resident came out. He enjoyed our conversation and it gave him an hour of "normalcy". we now have coffee in the morning before I start my shift. We are not in his room. We are outside of the building where anyone can see. He looks forward to our coffee time. Our conversation has NEVER been inappropriate or crossed the line. Is there anything wrong with giving this man his time of normalcy?

When we question ourselves about our actions in any given situation, and look for support from in order to rationalize our actions, that question could be the result of our conscience speaking to us.

To paraphrase Richard Bach, "Our conscience is the measure of our honesty. Listen to it carefully".

Nunya, BSN

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 39 years experience.

5 hours ago, RNperdiem said:

This man who is charming enough to befriend the nurses, but has no family to speak of and presumably no outside friends visiting would make me wonder. Why not? I would keep my distance.

Many older people have no friends their age still living, or maybe there's no one in the area. I'm going to go against what many people are saying and say continue with your chats. If it's not in his room and in public and someone comes up and acts like they want to join in, make them welcome, that may encourage him to make friends of the other residents. What I would suggest is not having him as your patient if at all possible though. If it becomes a problem deal with it then but don't borrow trouble. I think working in LTC is entirely different than working in a hospital where I might caution against this. After all, you're in HIS home several times a week.

Mywords1

Specializes in nursing ethics.

I see nothing wrong with this and is commendable. The other comments are overly cautious, too afraid of potential consequences. You are not supposed to be too friendly with patients but there are exceptions. It is a win win. You are an acquaintance, not a friend. If the situation was reversed, wouldn't you want some companionship? You are relieving his loneliness.

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I am naturally over cautious with new acquaintances. If she wants to keep this acquaintanceship going she should keep an awareness of boundaries. And be prepared to defend those boundaries if he pushes the conversation into riskier territory. Use your gut feeling.

3 hours ago, Mywords1 said:

You are not supposed to be too friendly with patients but there are exceptions.

I see you specialize in ethics. Would you mind giving us some examples of exceptions?

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

I read too much true crime stories. Someone who strikes up a seemingly benign friendship, but is actually grooming their next target sounds like the beginning of every con game.