Nurses who put their personal needs ahead of their clients' needs misuse their power.The nurse who violates a boundary can harm both the nurse-client relationship and the client.In some clinical settings, the client may be referred to as a patient or resident.In research, the client may be referred to as a participant.Practice Standards set out requirements related to specific aspects of nurses' practice.They link with other standards, policies and bylaws of the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia, the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia and the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of British Columbia, and all legislation relevant to nursing practice. The nurse-client relationship is conducted within boundaries that separate professional and therapeutic behaviour from non-professional and non-therapeutic behaviour.
Within the nurse-client relationship, the client is often vulnerable because the nurse has more power than the client.
A nurse may violate a boundary in terms of behaviour related to favouritism, physical contact, friendship, socializing, gifts, dating, intimacy, disclosure, chastising and coercion. Others are not so clear and require the nurse to use professional judgment.
This is true particularly in small communities where nurses may have both a personal and a professional 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 a nurse.
They are available from the Nursing Standards section of the CRNBC website