Saturday, February 26, 2005

Your Truth: Boundaries

Before I go into an explanation about professional boundaries, I want to start a discussion on what they mean. In nursing school, there is a strong emphasis on learning to maintain professional boundaries. Some boundaries are more obvious than others. I would love to hear from you - which of the following actions seems like a breach of professional boundaries (again, some will be more obvious and clear than others; people may disagree about some of these; some of these may be illegal):

1. visiting your "favorite" patient on your day off
2. calling a patient in the hospital from home on your day off
3. visiting a patient after they've transferred to another floor/facility
4. telling a patient that you love them
5. pursuing a romantic relationship with a patient
6. sitting on the edge of the patient's bed while you talk to them
7. giving a patient your home phone number and/or address
8. copying down a patient's address to send their family a condolance card after they've died
9. copying down a patient's phone number from his/her chart and calling them later to find out how they are doing

Again, tell me which you think clearly is and/or is NOT appropriate professional boundaries. I also welcome hearing other behaviors that may have questionable appropriateness.

1 comment:

Mikka said...

1. Only if it is to their house... in the hospital, if he/she is available I find it acceptable.
2. Seems like a burden to have to talk on the phone in the hospital, so I say breaching.
3. I do not believe this is passing a boundary as long as the patient is available.
4. Unless you have known the patient for a long time, breaching.
5. Breaching.
6. If the patient is not disturbed by it, it seems fine to me.
7. Number, not breaching; address is unneeded, breaching.
8. Breaching unless the patient is a close friend of you and you know their family.
9. Breaching.... using work information for personal use.