In exchanging personal details with a patient such as those commonly posted on sites like Facebook you may increase the likelihood of ethical difficulties. For these, the best we can do is to follow the advice of the College's Ethics Manual: “Because it may be difficult for the physician to judge the impact of the previous professional relationship, the physician should consult with a colleague or other professional before becoming sexually involved with a former patient.” Your nurse friend can truly relate because she’s been there too – whether it’s being covered in body fluids, a demanding patient or relative, a death that touches you deeply, a crisis or the workload that’s putting your head in a spin, or issues with other co-workers or management. I work in the ER and I took care of a really nice guy a few weeks ago. They are just friends, but they are of opposite sex and have get togethers alone sometimes, just the two of them. A former nurse at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has been prosecuted for accessing patients’ medical records without authorisation. For example, there was a situation in which a nurse wrote about the difficult day she had at the hospital, and while she was not friends with her patients, they were friends with her friends. The patient’s family saw her posting (which did not include names), and the nurse didn’t think it was her fault because she considered her Facebook page private. It can be tempting to engage in a relationship with a former patient or client. Yes, they can. You’re my patient. Kaitlin probably did believe that their nurse-patient relationship terminated when her young patient was discharged but there is rarely a 100% guarantee that they would never re-enter a nurse-patient relationship. Whether or not the patient is always vulnerable can be debated. Not unless they know them from outside the nurse patient relationship. Because of the nurse’s position of power in the health care setting, it should be left to the former patient to make the first move. Nurse best friends … When a nurse asks a newly admitted patient to describe social supports, the patient says, "my parents died last year and I have no family. Always keep your personal and professional lives separate. This friend/patient is still being treated by the doctor. This can quickly turn into a professional and social dilemma. Clare Lawson who had been a staff nurse on the hospital’s Rehabilitation Ward since October 2011 had accessed patients’ medical records outside … It wasn’t until after he was no longer a patient, but his sister was when my grandfather asked out my grandmother. Such a relationship need not be long-term or even sexual in nature to attract censure. They were my Facebook friends prior to being my patient. The therapy relationship can and should evoke strong feelings in both therapist and patient that are vital to effective treatment. The doctor is wondering if the patient should pick another doctor. Nurses who have friends in their workplace can also assist each other during stressful situations by giving each other someone to vent to. I am newly divorced, and my former in laws blame me. “It can put that nurse who is stressed in a better frame of mind. Both of my grandmothers were nurses. 2. From your own romantic pursuits, you know that if someone is really interested in you, they will find a way to make contact. Yes,” says McCormac, “but they should take precautions. It may sound great to think you could be friends with your ex-therapist, but, in reality, the patient-therapist relationship (in long term therapy particularly) is not readily transferable to the… A nurse should not enter into a friendship or other personal relationship with a patient, their family members or their substitute decision-makers. For example, a relationship with a former patient you treated over a number of years is more likely to be inappropriate than a relationship with a patient with whom you had a single consultation. As a nurse, can I date a former patient? A few days after his visit, he sent flowers to the department for everyone and then one bouquet just for me thanking me for the great care and asked if he could take me out to dinner. Uncomfortable scenarios can occur if a nurse becomes privy to information about a coworker friend not performing effectively or ethically on the job. There are steps you can take to minimise the chances of patients contacting you via social media. It's a boundary issue. The patient describes him- or herself as having "special powers" and states, "I believe we can all read each other's thoughts at times." Our patients can also search for us on social media pages. Any therapist who denies having ever been tempted is either lying or is simply deluded. I don't have many friends because most people my age just want to go out drinking" which action will the nurse … I have an ethical question. Given the nature of the nurse practitioner-patient relationship, crossing professional boundaries can lead to some sticky interpersonal, not to mention legal, situations. I am a "mental patient" myself and can't imagine being in a relationship with one of the nurses who took care of me. Nurses must get buy-in from patients when it comes to their care. A doctor I know became friends with a person that was their patient. If a healthy nurse-patient relationship is established from the get-go, the nurses can help the patient feel more at ease in their situation and encourage questions and participate in their care. Most of these are diminishingly shallow in terms of the depth and seriousness of the relationship, but they can be misconstrued. I'm an adult nurse and a guy that came in a few weeks ago in A&E sent me flowers and on the card asked me to go on a date with him. In addition, the extent of the physician's general knowledge about the patient (i.e., the patient's past, the patient's family situation, and the patient's current emotional state) is also a factor that may render a sexual or romantic relationship with a former patient unethical. Their responses may surprise you. I've never even looked for a patient on Facebook, nor would I accept a friend request from them. My father’s mother met my grandfather when he was her patient. Many patients even use physicians who are already a personal friend. “Can nurses be friends? the doctor-patient-friend relationship is essential to the creation of this sense of 'home' for patient and provider; it is built on bidirectional communication and transparency. The reality of knowing you can lose your license over a simple comment made over Facebook (or other social media) is quite scary, but very easy to do and something I would like to share to make other nurses aware. Yes, I know the OP said the former patient initiated it, but it should have been nicely but firmly rejected from the get-go. It almost permeates an entire unit if one nurse is stressed and could cause others to become stressed,” he says. What nurses said about relationships with patiets ‘A blanket ban on dating former patients is an infringement on our civil liberties’ ‘It is never appropriate to ask a patient on a date’ ‘When my nurse manager started a relationship with a patient while he was critically ill it was hushed up’ Unprofessional behavior and comments can affect the relationship of trust between the nurse and the patient. RELATED: Beyond the Bedside: Nurse Navigator. Especially if you are a student nurse or new graduate, you should search your name on the web and make sure that what comes up displays a professional image. A former nurse at the Gino J. Merli Veterans Center gave a patient more pain medication than was prescribed even though that patient had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, according to the state attorney general’s office. If the relationship doesn’t work out the way the patient wished, he or she could bring charges against the physician - even if it was the patient who initiated the relationship - and that can present big problems for the physician. Never accept a patient’s friend request on your personal social media accounts. Sometimes it is not just the nurse who is affected by lack of professional boundaries, but the patient can have poorer outcomes as well. Taking a relationship with a patient outside of the professional realm can be considered sexual misconduct and carry some serious consequences. In most instances, keep it simple: I’m your doctor. Now, I have had patients that I've known from elsewhere (coworkers, neighbors, friends' parents, etc). In Medscape's 2012 Ethics Survey, more than 24,000 physicians told what they think about becoming romantically or sexually involved with a patient. I'm unsure of this because although I want to go on the date, I don't want my career at risk. 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