Boundaries

  1. Hi, I am fairly new to the healthcare field and I work in a clinic in a town of about 20,000 people. I perform intake (rooming Pt.'s) and direct Pt. care as well as assisting my doctor during routine procedures. I do many other things, but this is how the majority of my time is spent. I am also fairly new to the community I work in. I have had Pt.'s show an interest in me personally. My question is simple, and I feel like I should know the answer. Where are the ethical boundaries concerning befriending and or dating women I have met through my job? The clinic I work for is family practice. I feel like any interaction outside of work has a potential to put my employment in jeopardy. I was in a very serious, committed relationship while in school and I didn't give this subject much thought. I am further confused by some of my coworkers' behavior. Any help is appreciated.
  2. Visit 90Random profile page

    About 90Random

    Joined: Jul '17; Posts: 4

    6 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    What kind of behaviors are your co-workers exhibiting? I am confused.

    Personally, I've never befriended former patients, male or female. In a small town it's harder to avoid them, but it's still possible to avoid crossing boundaries and getting involved with them. I was always nice and polite to anyone I bumped into outside my workplace, but there is a difference between being friendly and being *a friend*. Every nurse has to learn that difference; otherwise, they risk harm to their employment and even their careers. The balance of power between nurse and patient is always unequal, with the patient being at a natural disadvantage. And in a clinic there's a reasonable certainty that they'll return to your facility for treatment, so as you can see this can be very awkward if you had a relationship with this person.

    Good luck with your new job, and welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from 90Random
    Hi, I am fairly new to the healthcare field and I work in a clinic in a town of about 20,000 people. I perform intake (rooming Pt.'s) and direct Pt. care as well as assisting my doctor during routine procedures. I do many other things, but this is how the majority of my time is spent. I am also fairly new to the community I work in. I have had Pt.'s show an interest in me personally. My question is simple, and I feel like I should know the answer. Where are the ethical boundaries concerning befriending and or dating women I have met through my job? The clinic I work for is family practice. I feel like any interaction outside of work has a potential to put my employment in jeopardy. I was in a very serious, committed relationship while in school and I didn't give this subject much thought. I am further confused by some of my coworkers' behavior. Any help is appreciated.
    Are you actually a nurse?
  5. by   90Random
    Thank you for confirming my thoughts on this subject. The behaviors I have witnessed are other nurses making plans with people we see in our clinic, and on a few occasions they have talked about their "hook-ups." Considering how small the town is, I didn't know if they had other contact with these people before they started working as a nurse. Either way, I see the point that you have made and I will not be using the "Everyone else is doing it," reasoning for my behavior. Thank you for your advice.
  6. by   90Random
    There is no need to live up to your moniker.
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from 90Random
    There is no need to live up to your moniker.
    So, is that a yes or a no? I'm wondering because this is the sort of thing they really beat into your head during nursing school. If you're working in some other sort of position, then I would have no idea what the "rules" are.
  8. by   90Random
    I am an LPN. I have a very selective memory.

close