clinical restrictians regarding patient relationships

  1. Hello!
    I know my title is a bit strange but I need solme help! I'm in my first clinical at a private LTC care facility. The resident I have been assigned to doesn't have much family and is in DIRE need of a new nightgown (trust me, I get her ready in the morning). Would it be too much for me to take a nightgown and some cookies in to her for a Christmas present? I would go in on my own time. I have gotten a little attached to her :redpinkhe. I'm a sucker for some things I guess. She has no diet restrictions (not diabetic surprisingly) so the cookies wouldn't be a health concern and other resident's family member bring in goodies all the time. I know I'm not family per se but would like to add some cheer to her day. She's been a little down lately. Would I be crossing the line? Also, my boyfriend would like to come with me. BUT I don't know if that's an invasion of her privacy. He doesn't know anything about her medical history, just knows I want to do something for her and would like to back me. He's been great about the whole nursing school running my life thing (working full time and school part time so I basically have no life). I'm not sure if this is something that would be considered ok in the student nursing clinical aspect. Any suggestions?? Help!
  2. Visit LLovelylocks profile page

    About LLovelylocks

    Joined: Dec '10; Posts: 5; Likes: 1


  3. by   DolceVita
    Opinion only before anyone freaks out....

    I would suggest not doing so. If you have doubts ask your clinical instructor. Your motives may be laudable but I really think that during nursing school we shouldn't be blurring boundaries.

    I presume your clinical is over now but next time, have a discussion with your instructor while you are still on site. You could then liaise with the institution to help the patient.

    If you decide to go ahead anyway please do not bring your boyfriend. It would indicate to me, if I worked there, that you had not kept patient confidentiality.
  4. by   PghRN30
    I agree completely with DolceVita. I know in my student handbook for my nursing school it flat out states that students are NEVER to give or accept gifts to/from patients. I can completely understand your desire to, but is it worth you getting kicked out of the nursing program if it would come to that? I would definitly say discuss it with your instructor and find out if there is any way you could....directly, or even as a "secret santa" that way she gets something she needs and knows someone cares about her.

    Would definitly say do not bring your bf in, personally I wouldnt even ask....that would definitly be stepping too far away from you being the professional i think even more then it raises confidentiality issues, and you need to maintain a profesional relationship with patients.
  5. by   classykaren
    I have to commed you on your compassion. You will be a great nurse. I would bring the cookies but not the boyfriend
  6. by   2ndyearstudent
    I would suggest you don't do any of the things you are considering at clinical, but I would suggest bringing cookies for everyone then sneaking your patient a couple of them.
  7. by   loriangel14
    I think that a gift of a nightgown would be a lovely idea and she will be touched by your compassion. I would, however, leave the boyfriend at home. You could also wrap the gift and leave it for her anonymously as well to avoid problems. I have prepared small gift bags for all the people on my unit in the past so everyone had something to open. Last year we all donated a pair of flannel pjs and everyone got a new pair for Christmas( most of the patients were seniors).
  8. by   itsmejuli
    Its hard not to get emotionally involved and hard not to want to give the needy residents gifts. I have to restrain myself from giving gifts to the residents I care for every weekend. If I were to give something to one resident and not to another then I'd be showing favoritism.

    You could ask someone who's never been to that LTC to drop the gift off for you anonymously. You shouldn't come in and do it yourself.
  9. by   IaCountryGirl
    Quote from itsmejuli
    You could ask someone who's never been to that LTC to drop the gift off for you anonymously. You shouldn't come in and do it yourself.
    This is what I would do.
  10. by   CrazierThanYou
    I think it would be okay to give the nightgown and cookies, not the boyfriend. But, while I saw at clinical, I discovered a resident who desperately wanted a bra. She wanted mine, in fact, but I really need it! Anyway, I talked to the activities department and they got her the bra. I would hope that any LTC center would have a way to get their residents what they need but I can't say that for sure.

    Also, that particular LTC center has an Adopt-A-Resident program where you can pick one to give gifts to.
  11. by   DolceVita
    I maintain this is not a good idea and the only person that can really tell you if it is OK is your instructor or school. You may even have your professionalism called into question (either by the school or the facility) by doing this. Do not even mention the boyfriend.

    I have as much compassion as the next person but perhaps someone from the facility needs to call her family and request a new nightgown -- do they know this is a need of hers? If not you should have made it known.

    Doing a secret Santa of cookies isn't the worst idea but I urge you to look at your motives. Who are you trying to make feel better. Only you know.
  12. by   ImThatGuy
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    I discovered a resident who desperately wanted a bra. She wanted mine, in fact, but I really need it!
    LOL. Oh gosh, thanks. I'm so bored at work today.
  13. by   CrazierThanYou
    Quote from ImThatGuy
    LOL. Oh gosh, thanks. I'm so bored at work today.

    We got a good laugh out of it at post-conference!
  14. by   LLovelylocks
    Just to update this and let you know what happened! Didn't take the bf (never thought it was a good idea in the first place either and really didn't want to but since he was hovering as I was typing my first question, figured I would mention it). I spoke with my instructor and she suggested the secret santa as well. So I snuck in when I knew she would be at mass and left her the nightgown. I wasn't doing it to make me feel better, as I already am a pretty happy camper. She needed one and her sister who takes hers home to wash had an arguement and refused to bring her anything or come in and see her. That's why she only had the one. And now she has 2, and her sister still has her other 2. The cookies, I made lots and took them in for everyone making sure the CNAs knew which ones to offer my resident. I made some from the diabetic recipes and used Splenda and labelled them. I can't guarantee they were any good because I'm no suzy-homemaker, but it was worth a shot. And then I went home. My instructors had no issues with me taking the item to her especially since I made it a secret santa although my mom (LPN for 30 years) told me to take them in and hand it to her because it would mean more. But thanks to all who responded and I wish the place I'm working had an adopt-a-resident program, but they don't have one as of yet. I spoke with the human resources director about it though. She's the only one we have direct contact with. Maybe next year.