Professional boundaries in nursing

Facebook alone has million active users globally. Nurse leaders increasingly face challenges in giving clear guidance to staff about the professional role of the nurse and nurse-patient boundaries. Consider the following Case Scenario Kaitlin Nelson, RN is a young pediatric nurse who is adored by her pediatric oncology patients. She was happy to get updates from her young friend whose condition seemed to be improving.

Professional boundaries in nursing

When spending so much time together, nurses and families often cross the line usually maintained in a professional relationship. Due to this difficulty, many home health agencies have devised policies to help nurses keep their relationships with clients professional, not personal.

Similar to other states, Texas does not specifically address home health nurses, but does have regulations on professional conduct that apply to the profession. Regulations The Texas Board of Nursing has regulations that address overstepping professional boundaries.

Professional boundaries in nursing

Nurses who don't maintain these boundaries are Professional boundaries in nursing to disciplinary action by the Board of Nursing. The regulations include prohibition of physical, emotional, sexual or financial exploitation of the client or family, divulging personal information about the client outside of a professional context or falsifying reports.

Maintaining Professionalism Nurses walk a fine line between being friendly with clients and their families and being friends. In nurse-client relationships, boundaries are breached when nurses become too emotionally involved with the client or family, when they discuss their personal issues with the family or when they do things for the family beyond the scope of their duties, such as looking after other children in the house; doing the client's shopping; or doing housework that is not specifically spelled out in the job description.

Consequences Crossing professional boundaries can cause distress to the client, family and nurse. One side may feel taken advantage of or exploited, and in some cases, may actually be experiencing this. This can affect a patient's relationship with other health care professionals. Nurses whose patients or families cross professional boundaries may feel confused and unsure of how to handle the situation, particularly when they're new to nursing or inexperienced in home health care.

Maintaining Professionalism

In cases where professional boundaries are crossed, home health organizations must take disciplinary action, including reporting severe violations to the state board of nursing.

Avoiding Issues It's up to the nurse to maintain professional boundaries, even if clients encourage him or her to cross the line. To do this, the nurse must avoid becoming too involved with a patient, feeling that only he or she can properly care for the patient or understand family dynamics, or feeling indispensable to a family.

The nurse should not have a personal or business relationship outside of the nurse role with the patient or family. The National Council of State Boards warns that spending time with a patient or family outside of working hours, doing favors for a family, gift giving or other forms of singling out a patient or family are all signs of possible boundary crossing.Professional boundaries the spaces between the nurse's power and the patient's vulnerability control the power differential and allows for safe interaction to best meet the patient's needs.

Professional boundaries are defined as the space between the nurse’s power and the patient’s vulnerability. Nurses are considered to have the power in the nurse-patient relationship and also the accountability to establish boundaries. Boundaries are an imaginary line that separates the duties of a particular professional from the others.

Boundary is the ability to know where one ends and where another person begins. Professional boundaries are important because they define the limits and responsibilities of the professional with whom we interact in the workplace. Nurses are confronted with professional boundaries all the time and I suggest that you get continuing education on this topic to be clear on where your professional boundaries are.

Here is a resource from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Dec 18,  · Israel, too, has grappled with the interface between health professions and professional boundaries (mainly of nursing).

The topic is particularly important given the projected shortage of physicians, especially in medical professions identified as crisis-ridden – one of which is neonatology. Developing and maintaining professional boundaries Page last updated: The relationship between young people and worker is essentially one of trust and this can lead to situations where a young person may develop some level of emotional dependence.

Quiz to assess your professional boundaries | Community Care