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Have you found yourself blurring the professional boundary?

Nurses Toon   (15,587 Views | 23 Replies)
by Joe V Joe V (Admin) Writer Innovator Expert

Joe V has 24 years experience and specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development.

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We've addressed this before when the patient-Nurse boundaries are blurred. But, it is a topic that is always important. Sometimes patients can affect us so strongly that it is difficult to keep a professional distance.

Our feelings and emotions can be so difficult to handle especially when the patient reminds us of a loved one. Memories flood back as we see our loved one in them. Our emotions are stirred by their mannerisms, a smile, or even just the touch of their hand. They come into our lives for only a fleeting moment and leave us changed when they depart.

Have you found yourself blurring the professional boundary?

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sirI has 30 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

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Ethical boundaries can indeed be problematic for Nurses.

Thanks for the 'toon, @Joe V

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

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"...you're fixing to let those ...hormones get you into a world of trouble."                      -Garth McCann, Secondhand Lions 

As a 20 something year old nurse, need I say more?

Luckily, however, my big head did prevail.

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headofcurls has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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No. I’ve worked too hard to jeopardize my career. I mean sometimes I’ve shared a personal anecdote or maybe laughed at something inappropriate that the patient said but that’s as far as it goes for me. I don’t let them add me on social

media or contact me outside of work. 

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229 Posts; 1,220 Profile Views

I haven’t blurred boundaries but I’ve wanted to. We have a case at my FQHC where an individual was in prison for 30 years. He is now out and has NO ONE. He’s also been diagnosed with a serious illness. All I can do is be kind when he comes in, but I really wish I could... I don’t know, invite him for Thanksgiving?  

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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2 hours ago, CommunityRNBSN said:

I haven’t blurred boundaries but I’ve wanted to. We have a case at my FQHC where an individual was in prison for 30 years. He is now out and has NO ONE. He’s also been diagnosed with a serious illness. All I can do is be kind when he comes in, but I really wish I could... I don’t know, invite him for Thanksgiving?  

Beautiful. I mean, we know we can't. Not shouldn't but can't. However, this is sad. This happens to me too with students. All I can do is make referrals to caring organizations and hope things get better. I think being kind in itself is a blessing, though.

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218 Posts; 2,953 Profile Views

Yes, it’s not just romantic boundaries that can get crossed.

I had a home case where the mom of the patient was young enough to be my daughter.  She was very sweet, but started to see me as the Mother she never had.  I had to be careful to maintain professional distance.

We parted on good terms (the kiddo’s needs changed with school and stuff and I wasn’t able to do the hours anymore).

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Hoosier_RN has 20 years experience as a MSN and specializes in LTC, home health, hospice, ICU, ER, dialysis.

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I have no problem with boundaries, but there are a couple of patients (male) at my clinic who have tried to find out where myself and a couple of nurses and techs (all female) live and/or what we drive. One was bad enough to approach me, my hubby and grandkids at a local restaurant and try to make himself at home at our table. The manager had to come and guide him back to his group. It should have been an embarrassment to him,  but he and his daughters just told me how rude I was at his next clinic treatment. He has also approached other females at the clinic. Of course MD and SW have talked to him and he's straightened up for now, but who knows for how long

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beachynurse has 35 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing.

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I can easily see how boundaries can be crossed. We may be nurses, but we are also human beings with feelings too. I have had many a child that I felt would have had a better chance of success in life with me than living in the environment that they are in. I've sat down with our MSW, and other nurses for support, and tried to find some solutions within the community. 

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jive turkey has 8 years experience and specializes in A variety.

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No, nope, naw aw.  I don’t trust anybody.  I’ve heard stories of people who served a patient or family for years or even decades only to be sued when the opportunity presents itself even if the nurse wasn’t negligent or causing intentional harm.  This is unfortunate because there are times an emotional response may be inspired or motivated to follow up with a patient that is no longer a patient just to see how they’re doing.  We live in such a litigious country I find myself having to be very neutral and straightforward minimizing how much personality shines through.

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97 Posts; 307 Profile Views

My mother met and married her last husband in the hospital she worked in . was a horrible marriage, but they were together until he passed 2000. I think about 25-30 years. I never did understand though, what she saw in him. But it was her and not me, altho us 3 kids did suffer for it, But she didn't see that . she thought we should just roll over and accept it because she did. Not a good thing to do, IMO. 

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