Mrs. Kovack has diabetes complicated with renal failure and leg ulcers. Mr. Kovack has mobility problems due to a stroke. Peta tries to schedule their visits at the end of her day so she has extra time to visit with the couple as they seem to enjoy her company.
Mrs. Kovack was admitted to hospital a week ago and Peta visits with her during her lunch hour. She spends time with the couple at the bedside and then one day has lunch with Mr. Kovack in the cafeteria. During lunch, Mr. Kovack asks Peta if she could find someone to walk their dog while he is at the hospital. Peta reassures Mr. Kovack that she can walk the dog.
Back at the office Peta shares her lunch conversation with her colleague Susan, telling her she offered to walk the couple's dog. Susan thinks for a minute, and then asks Peta if she thinks it's a good idea for her to walk a client's dog.
Have you ever wondered if you’ve crossed a boundary with a client?
Some boundaries are clear cut. Others are not so clear and require the nurse to use professional judgment. The nurse who violates a boundary can harm both the nurse-client relationship and the client.
Nurses 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. Nurses are careful about socializing with clients and former clients, especially when the client or former client is vulnerable or may require ongoing care.
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