Nurse dating former patient
Nurses must thoroughly understand what constitutes inappropriate behavior in healthcare environments.According to Peternelj-Taylor and Yonge, behaviors considered inappropriate can be separated into three categories: boundary crossing, boundary violation, and sexual misconduct.5 Baca describes a continuum of professional behavior, with boundary crossings toward the left and boundary violations, including sexual misconduct, toward the right.3 Each of these categories is different, and one boundary misstep doesn't necessarily precede another or fit into only one category.AT BEST, NURSES AND PATIENTS develop a special bond based on trust, compassion, and mutual respect.The nurse-patient relationship can provide the "context for care" linked to improved patient outcomes, including satisfaction and trust.1 In most cases, professional standards of care and personal morals prevent inappropriate relationships from developing.Sometimes nurses cross professional boundaries for reasons that aren't even arguably therapeutic to the patient. This unprofessional behavior can escalate to even more serious misconduct.An example mentioned previously, keeping a patient in the hospital when a qualified caregiver is available, could fall under this category.After completing his assessment and discharge instructions, he asks, "Do you have any other questions?
(See A female nurse enters a male patient's room just after the healthcare provider has informed him that he has lung cancer. He stops crying after a few minutes, saying, "I just didn't expect that.
According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), professional boundaries are "the spaces between the nurse's power and the client's vulnerability."2 In relationships with any level of comfort and closeness, boundaries are needed to separate individuals appropriately.
According to Baca, professional boundaries support key elements of the nurse practitioner-patient relationship: trust, compassion, mutual respect, and empathy; these elements are needed in the nurse-patient relationship as well.3 Boundaries also serve to keep lines of communication open and let patients and nurses interact in a professional atmosphere.
But not all examples of sexual misconduct are clear-cut.
Consider the following situation: A male nurse has been caring for a female patient who's being discharged.
But in some cases, the nurse-patient relationship develops into a personal relationship that can lead to inappropriate behavior, including sexual misconduct.