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Need advice on nursing/pt relationship post discharge

Posted
by NurseJackie87 NurseJackie87 (New) New

Specializes in Psychiatry.

While working on my mental health unit I came into contact with a man who I had a connection with. While he was a patient he would flirt with me but I maintained the appropriate patient/nurse relationship. Now that he has been discharged I'm wondering about the ethical standards that might say that a personal relationship could be initiated? My own ethics has kept me from having any contact with him since discharge but I'd really like to get to know this guy outside our previous professional relationship. As background info I only work part time and he was only ever my patient a handful of times while he was in hospital.

dirtyhippiegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in PDN; Burn; Phone triage. Has 8 years experience.

Do you really want to date someone you met on a psych ward?

NurseJackie87

Specializes in Psychiatry.

Lol well that would be the automatic reaction given the stigma of having a mental illness. I have however thought the same thing. Although the reasoning of why he was in the hospital and his diagnosis and all is very low on a the scale of mental illness acuity.

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 24 years experience.

If you have to even ask this, you already know on some level that it's wrong. AND IT IS. Do NOT do it. To do so is unethical.

Not pertaining to the ethics but flirting while unstable enough to be a mental health inpatient? Even if it was for depression or anxiety how would you know that it was coming from a healthy stable perspective? Does that make sense, I'm not sure if I'm wording it right?

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

Has he tried to contact you? I'm not sure if Canada has a HIPAA equivalent, but in the US you'd be in legal hot water for contacting him post-discharge--ethical issues aside. Especially when you consider that mental/chemical health issues are treated especially carefully when it comes to privacy. The only reason you even have this man's contact info is because you had access to it through his hospitalization. So the only way you'd even have to consider this question is if he tried to contact you.

Here's some info per the Nurses Services Organization Don't cross the line: Respecting professional boundaries

Don't do it. Just don't. It's a bad idea, for several reasons. If you have any doubts about that (still have some idea this might be an okay thing to do), discuss it with your nurse manager and see what s/he says.

NurseJackie87

Specializes in Psychiatry.

Thanks everyone. Helped to hear it from someone . I knew it was wrong. Needed it verified and told to me from someone in the profession but didn't wanna ask anyone I work with.

I knew it was wrong. Needed it verified and told to me from someone in the profession but didn't wanna ask anyone I work with.

One of the classic guidelines for deciding whether or not some act will violate professional boundaries or standards of conduct is, if you wouldn't do it in front of your coworkers and boss(es), you shouldn't do it at all. The fact that you hesitated to even ask your colleagues about this should tell you all you need to know. Best wishes!

NurseJackie87

Specializes in Psychiatry.

I know :( I'm recently seperated) and I'm not a risk taker so its probably just emotional stuff clouding my judgment

We tend to get a little too anxious to get out there and make our hearts and egos feel better. Take time to make really good decisions, post divorce life/do overs can be good if you don't repeat or invent new mistakes.

Hugs.

Try picturing in your mind the worst case scenario consequences (like him accusing you or getting you in trouble). It's probably a worthless risk to take

Do you really want to date someone you met on a psych ward?

That's such a ****** thing to say. People with mental illness are people. Grow up.

Edited by Esme12
TOS/profanity

NurseJackie87

Specializes in Psychiatry.

Exactly mariebailey. I agree.

Paws2people

Has 13 years experience.

Let's fast forward a year from now... Say the relationship did work out. You are out to dinner with him, and you see your coworker/supervisor/etc. They recognize him. Now what? Or you want to bring your boyfriend (like everyone else) to a work picnic, holiday party, etc. How does that pan out? Go with your initial gut here, and move on. If you need to question it, you already have your answer. There are plenty of other people to date. You'll be fine. :up:

Here.I.Stand, BSN, RN

Specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro. Has 16 years experience.

I know :( I'm recently seperated) and I'm not a risk taker so its probably just emotional stuff clouding my judgment

I'm sorry...Hugs!!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

I know :( I'm recently seperated) and I'm not a risk taker so its probably just emotional stuff clouding my judgment
((HUGS)) I'm sorry...... but especially now it really isn't a good idea.