Maintaining a professional boundary between you and your patient - GMC
“The more you blur professional boundaries the more you're likely to Relationships with patients can pose a challenge to doctors at any point in has built relationships with patients and become friends with them, even. PDF | When patient and physician are close friends, both professional and personal relationships can suffer. Jointly exploring and setting explicit boundaries can. Interactive workshops and forums have been exploring patient safety and A professional and therapeutic relationship is required for all contexts of care. professional relationship, being an acquaintance and being a friend.
It noted that in a survey of several dozen psychiatrists, most searched for information about their patients online. Professional medical organizations have strict rules against sex and romance with patients.
Doctors are also advised not to treat family or close friends, situations that could compromise objectivity and judgment. If a doctor does cross the line, patients can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the U. Wanda Filer, a practicing family physician in York, Pa.
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They are more willing to tell you other things that are going on. Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, says she has attended the funerals of several patients and recently spoke at one. She gives some patients her cellphone number.
That intimacy, however, can spill over to outside the office. In another study, published inresearchers found that when primary-care physicians disclosed personal information about themselves, patients were less satisfied with their visits and were less likely to report feeling reassured or comforted. The findings were the opposite, however, when surgeons self-disclosed: Surgical patients were more satisfied and reassured.
Nick van Dyk says having a close relationship with his doctor has made him more confident in his medical treatment. He has dinner and drinks with his hematologist, Bart Barlogie, a few times each year. Barlogie and his wife made a habit of taking patients to dinner.
Take a look at each and discuss with a colleague what you could put in place to ensure professional boundaries are appropriately managed.
Health professionals and patients: the need for appropriate boundaries
Your neighbour of five years is in the supermarket buying some groceries. They slip over and can't get up or move their arm. You are well known within the community and as you are a nurse, the store manager makes a call for you over the intercom to come and assist with the situation. Suggested actions to avoid a boundary violation Make it known that you are rendering first aid care; ask for an ambulance to be called or another health practitioner.
As you render first aid, advise what you are doing at all times. Remain within the scope of practice of first aid only. Hand the care over as soon as possible. You treat a man whilst working a shift at Accident and Emergency. He is admitted to hospital for a few days after having had an accident at work, however, you only make an initial assessment when he first arrives to hospital.
Six months later you see the man in your local pub. He has made a full recovery and is no longer having treatment. You are getting on really well, exchange numbers and agree to go out for a date. It went well and you have now been dating a few months. This is a tricky one that will create many different views. Consider the extent of your professional relationship, the nature of the patient professional relationship, the age of the patient, their vulnerability and the ongoing professional interaction.
Maintaining a professional boundary between you and your patient
Does a power imbalance exist and what if the relationship deteriorates? Advise your manager that you are dating, if you are keeping the relationship a secret, ask yourself why?
You see a rather unusual case and take a photo to send on to a consultant you know in Sydney who may be able to provide some further advice for treatment.
You take the photo on your personal phone and send the image to him via email. Did you obtain an informed consent from the patient? Is this a medical record?
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What are the regulations around the storage of medical records? What if the image goes public? What do you do with the clinical advice given to you by the consultant?
What if your phone is lost or accessed and the image distributed widely? What of you send it to the wrong email? If you are required to send photos for clinical advice speak to your employer regarding a safe way to do this and for the consultation to be part of the medical record.
Do not take photos for reasons other than seeking professional clinical advice. A good friend of yours is having a baby and has asked you to be their midwife.