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Professional Boundaries in Nursing Essay

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Nursing surrounds the concept of patient care physically, mentally and ethically. The therapeutic relationship that is created is built on the knowledge and skills of the nurse and relies on patient and nurse trusting one another. The use of nursing skills can ensure these boundaries are maintained, it allows for safe patient care. Professional boundaries are the line that nurses cannot cross, involving aspects such as patient confidentiality and privacy, ensuring legal aspects of nursing and the boundaries put in place are not breached. However, nurses accepting financial or personal gain from patient can also cross these professional boundaries. It is only through education in this area that the rights of patients can be preserved, as well as the nursing standards. Through education in areas such as confidentiality, boundaries can remain in tact and the patient care can remain within the zone of helpfulness.

Every patient that is admitted to hospital, or seen by a health professional has a right to his or her own privacy, and it is through ensuring professional boundaries are upheld that this basic right can be achieved. According to Levett-Jones and Bourgeois (2011, pp. 237) confidentiality is an obligation made by a professional to respect the information given by a patient to healthcare professional. In this modern age, privacy can be hard as society relies on technology as a form of communication, allowing for information to be more readily available. However, by posting on Facebook about a patient or informing a friend, the trust created in a therapeutic relationship is breach and is called a boundary crossing. Thompson (2010, pp.26) understands that “At times, boundary crossing may be unintentional, but emphasizes th...


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... health professionals in the hospitals today, that these breaches can be stopped and the vulnerability of the patient remain unharmed or abused. Therefore professional boundaries ensure that there is no misuse in power resulting in dangerous patient care, and gives integrity to the nursing profession.






Works Cited


Balzer-Riley, Julia W 2008, ‘Communication in nursing ’, Mosby-Elsevier Inc., St.
Louis, MO, pp. 2-16, 74-86, retrieved 8th April 2010, Deakin University Library site.

Harris, Nagy, S and Vardaxis N, 2010, The Mosby’s Dictionary, 2nd Edn, Elsevier, Chatswood.

Lanier, E, 2011, ‘Parlez-Vous la Terminologie Médicale’, Florida Nurse, Vol. 59 Issue 1, pp.19

Levett-jones, T, and Bourgeois, S, 2011, The clinical placement, 2nd Edn, Elsevier, Chatswood.

Kozier and Erb’s, 2010, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pearson Education, French’s Forest.


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