polls of the most widely respected and trusted professions. The results of these polls reflect the special relationship and bond between nurses and those under. As oncology nurses, we realize that if we do not have borders or zone of helpfulness that allows for a professional, therapeutic relationship to. potential and real professional relationship and boundaries dilemmas for nurses. For nurses who also practise as midwives, a separate but consistent set of.
There is a difference between having a friendly professional relationship, being an acquaintance and being a friend. Sometimes these relationships can be in conflict. So what can a professional do to avoid a boundary violation?
It is a good idea to regularly reflect upon or discuss different scenarios and management strategies. Below are some situational examples.
Professional Boundaries in Nursing | Ausmed
Take a look at each and discuss with a colleague what you could put in place to ensure professional boundaries are appropriately managed. Your neighbour of five years is in the supermarket buying some groceries. They slip over and can't get up or move their arm. You are well known within the community and as you are a nurse, the store manager makes a call for you over the intercom to come and assist with the situation.
Suggested actions to avoid a boundary violation Make it known that you are rendering first aid care; ask for an ambulance to be called or another health practitioner. As you render first aid, advise what you are doing at all times. Remain within the scope of practice of first aid only.
Hand the care over as soon as possible.
What Are Professional Boundaries and Why Do They Matter?
You treat a man whilst working a shift at Accident and Emergency. He is admitted to hospital for a few days after having had an accident at work, however, you only make an initial assessment when he first arrives to hospital.
Six months later you see the man in your local pub. He has made a full recovery and is no longer having treatment. You are getting on really well, exchange numbers and agree to go out for a date.
It went well and you have now been dating a few months. This is a tricky one that will create many different views.
Consider the extent of your professional relationship, the nature of the patient professional relationship, the age of the patient, their vulnerability and the ongoing professional interaction. Does a power imbalance exist and what if the relationship deteriorates? Advise your manager that you are dating, if you are keeping the relationship a secret, ask yourself why? You see a rather unusual case and take a photo to send on to a consultant you know in Sydney who may be able to provide some further advice for treatment.
You take the photo on your personal phone and send the image to him via email. Did you obtain an informed consent from the patient? Is this a medical record? What are the regulations around the storage of medical records?
Professional boundaries in the nurse-patient relationship.
What if the image goes public? What do you do with the clinical advice given to you by the consultant? It is also a possibility that this kindness can have repercussions by itself—the patient may start demanding you as a nurse or being dependent on you.
Boundary violations are potentially harmful actions that violate your professional relationship with patients. The most obvious violation is any sexual involvement with a patient.
Boundary violations are often clear-cut, with damaging results. Boundary crossings, however, can be blurry, requiring your professional judgment and perhaps the professional advice of others.
A boundary crossing can damage your relationship with your patient, cause potential harm to other patients, put your colleagues in difficult situations, and cause unintentional risk for your employer. Small multiple boundary crossings can lead to a boundary violation, which can have legal consequences or loss of your hard-earned license. Crossing boundaries can also affect you personally.
Without clear boundaries, nurses have higher burnout, turnover, compassion fatigue, and moral distress and may even experience negative mental health issues like posttraumatic stress disorder. So, it is important to learn skills to prevent, recognize, and manage boundary crossings.
Over the next few issues, we are going to explore common boundary crossings such as social media requests, using your own funds, and transporting or housing patients and caregivers. We want to discuss your concerns and provide different ways to handle these issues. Boundary crossings happen to every nurse, especially oncology nurses, who may be with their patients for an extended period of time and develop a special bond.
Like cancer, the key is prevention! Warning signs can provide insight that you are sliding on the continuum outside the zone of helpfulness toward non-helpful behavior.
You will learn what to do if you think you are close to crossing or if you see a colleague heading outside the therapeutic border. You will also learn how to recognize when you have crossed a border and develop strategies for getting yourself back on track. These strategies are important for any nurse but particularly oncology nurses because we need to prevent talented oncology nurses from burnout.
The goal is to keep oncology nurses in oncology, where they can make the biggest impact. Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.