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question about personal boundaries

Home Health   (3,243 Views | 17 Replies)
by sghanem1 sghanem1 (New) New

477 Profile Views; 5 Posts

Hello,

I cannot seem to find a legal strait forward answer for an issue regarding personal boundaries.

I am a pediatric home health nurse that attends one patient for 2 10 hour shifts every other weekend.

In my personal life, one of my hobbies is breeding and raising dwarf bunnies.

I was contacted by the parents of the child I care for separate from my professional time with them asking to purchase a baby bunny. They chose and purchased one from me at the normal sale price.

My job has told me this was a breech of professional boundaries.

Is this correct? Was I breaching professional boundaries when I sold this bunny?

Any answer is appreciated, just be nice. Thank you

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BloomNurseRN has 10 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in CMSRN.

1 Article; 721 Posts; 11,051 Profile Views

I can't imagine how it was a breach as long as you weren't pressuring them to do so. If it came up in normal conversation and they approached you outside of your working hours, it would be a separate business transaction and not any kind of conflict of interest. Just my opinion.

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4 Followers; 37,678 Posts; 103,016 Profile Views

Technically, yes, it was a breach, they would not have known about your business if it had not been discussed tangental to your duty in the home. But how did the agency even find out about this? You would have been wise to warn the family, (and really common sense dictates that they needed no warning), not to state that they had done business with you.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 13,946 Posts; 100,828 Profile Views

Did they know you were a bunny raiser because of conversations during work? If so absolutely a breech. If you are the only bunny raiser in 3 counties and the family asked the national association of bunny raisers and was referred to you...borderline boundary crossing.

Both agencies prohibit any financial transaction between nurses and patients/families. Discounted or full price. Sold on or off the clock. It's considered crossing professional boundaries and grounds for discipline up to termination.

How did your office find out ?

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5 Posts; 477 Profile Views

Technically, yes, it was a breach, they would not have known about your business if it had not been discussed tangental to your duty in the home. But how did the agency even find out about this? You would have been wise to warn the family, (and really common sense dictates that they needed no warning), not to state that they had done business with you.

They responded to an ad locally not realizing it was me.

Neither of us thought it was wrong and when another nurse was on shift she asked where they got it and they told her.

The nurse reported to office it was a gift.

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5 Posts; 477 Profile Views

Office was informed by another nurse that it was a gift.

No horrible result other than my feelings of inadequacy as a result. I'm seeing that professional boundaries must mean except at work, I cannot engage in any contact whatsoever with a patients family.

Prior to this, I made judgements by asking myself if the patient were in a hospital setting and I a nurse employed there, would i.....

In this case I had thought I would. But rethinking....

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4 Followers; 37,678 Posts; 103,016 Profile Views

They responded to an ad locally not realizing it was me.

Neither of us thought it was wrong and when another nurse was on shift she asked where they got it and they told her.

The nurse reported to office it was a gift.

Well, this is a different story altogether. I would put it in writing to your agency and keep a copy. Based on what I have seen agencies to "ignore" by turning a blind eye (do some reading on this forum), I would see this as an opportunity to see that the agency is not your friend, and never turn your back to that nurse. She went out of her way to get you into trouble. The family can clue her in, but it is the responsibility of the nursing supervisor; however, do not be surprised if the agency takes the stance that you still should not have done the bunny deed.

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JustBeachyNurse has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 13,946 Posts; 100,828 Profile Views

Office was informed by another nurse that it was a gift.

No horrible result other than my feelings of inadequacy as a result. I'm seeing that professional boundaries must mean except at work, I cannot engage in any contact whatsoever with a patients family.

Prior to this, I made judgements by asking myself if the patient were in a hospital setting and I a nurse employed there, would i.....

In this case I had thought I would. But rethinking....

Rules differ a bit in private duty/home care but not so much as if a current hospital patient it wouldn't be crossing boundaries. As long as it's a patient you're working with it can easily be construed as crossing boundaries. I'm not sure clarifying with the office that it was a business transaction vs gift to family would make much of a difference. It might make the situation worse since technically you profited from the situation by selling the bunny to the family.

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Elektra6 has 15 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Home Health, LTC, subacute.

549 Posts; 11,872 Profile Views

I can't believe that nurse tried to get you in trouble for this. I think it's minor. Then again, I work for an agency that doesn't care about anything unless the family complains. Caliotter3 is right, don't turn your back on that nurse. Meanwhile, I work with a nurse that recuperated at the patient's house after having a surgical procedure!!! (yes, I saw this with my own eyes as did the supervisor)

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duskyjewel specializes in hospice.

1,335 Posts; 14,487 Profile Views

If nothing else, watch yourself around that other nurse in the future. She's clearly willing to try and destroy people over piddling, stupid little things. Maybe she thinks she'll get more hours if you get canned?

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5 Posts; 477 Profile Views

Doesn't surprise me. I've seen and heard some unbelievable stories.

It's frustrating. Been with the same company almost five years and never a complaint regarding quality of patient care. Only a couple issues resulting from bored nurses and big mouths.

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5 Posts; 477 Profile Views

As for the nurse...already been there with her in another home. For my supervisor, I bit my tongue deciding her mind was set and anything I had to say would just cause a mess for me.

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