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Therapeutic relationship between nurse and client does not just happen but it is created with care and skill which is build upon the clients trust in the nurse. Nursing theorist Imogene King (1971) calls the nurse –clients’ relationship “learning experiences whereby two people interact to face an instant health problem, to share, if possible, in resolving it and to determine ways to adapt to the circumstances”. Therapeutic relationship in the nursing framework is characterized by a high degree of honesty and self-disclosure, accompanied by an expectation of acceptance and understanding (Williams 2001, Kadner 1994). Nurses are expected to perform, interact and communicate in a professional manner and demonstrate professional presence at all times. Boundaries are the defining outline which separate the therapeutic behavior of any activities which, well intentioned or not, could reduce the benefit of nursing care to clients. Boundaries give each person a sense of justifiable control in the therapeutic nurse-client relationship. It is the nurse's responsibility to decide when actions or behaviors stray from established boundaries and modify the nurse-client relationship from being therapeutic, to being non-therapeutic or non-professional in nature.
There are five components to the nurse-client relationship: trust, openness and respect, professional intimacy, empathy and power. Regardless of the framework, length of interaction and whether a nurse is the primary or secondary care provider, these components are always present. Firstly trust is critical in the nurse-client relationship because the client is in a susceptible position. Trust is especially important that a nurse keep promises to a client. If trust is breached, it becomes di...

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...s and areas of prospect for future development. Third, nurses should regard as the ways in which they interact and communicate with their clients . Nurses should aspire to become self-aware, self-directing and in touch with their environment. Strategies and practices that promote nurses to evaluate their ability and recognize their limits are fundamental aspects of empowerment and the development of effective coping skills (Hendricks and Mooney, 1996). The development of these skills encourages the expansion of the professional client relationship as a helpful, facilitative partnership. The reflective process and the formal and informal mechanisms of clinical debriefing helps nurses to share experiences to gain control over issues and circumstances that shape personal dispositions and abilities to cope within the ever changing environment of healthcare.


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