Standard 3: Boundaries in the Nurse-Client Relationship

You work and live in a small community. You know almost everyone.  What should you do it you're assigned to care for someone you know personally?

What is the best course of action?  Click on an answer to receive feedback.


That's Not Correct. RNs use professional judgment to determine the appropriate boundaries of a therapeutic relationship with each client. The nurse - not the client - is always responsible for establishing and maintaining boundaries.


That's not correct.  Be transparent, therapeutic and ethical with all your clients and former clients. When the issues are complex and boundaries are not clear, discuss your concerns with a knowledgeable and trusted colleague.


CORRECT!  At times, RNs must care for clients who are family or friends. When possible, overall responsiblity for care is transferred to another health care provider.  (See Standard 3: Client Centred Practice, Indicator 3.4: Initiatites, maintains and concludes the therapeutic nurse-client relationship.)


That's not correct.  RNs in a dual role make it clear to clients when they are acting in a professional capacity and when they are acting in a personal capacity. At times, an RN may want to provide some care for family or friends. This situation requires caution, discussion of boundaries and the dual role with everyone affected and careful consideration fo the alternatives.


Understand that RNs who work and live in the same community often have a dual role. If you have a personal relationship with a client or former client, be clear about when you are acting in a personal relationship and when you are acting in a professional relationship. Explain your commitment to confidentiality and what the client can expect of you as an RN. Consider the difference between being friendly and being friends. 

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