Nursing is a challenging profession. It requires due diligence, professionalism, and utmost care. It is impossible to achieve this without managing effective and professional relationships at work.
A lot depends on teamwork. Nurses don’t go to work alone or work in an isolated environment. If the environment at the workplace is toxic, they can’t function at their optimum levels.
When nurses develop healthy relationships with their bosses and staff members, they can efficiently perform tasks and feel motivated.
It is equally important to manage relationships with patients and their families. As a nurse, you should be vigilant in updating the patients’ families about the welfare and progress of the patient.
If a patient is not doing well, you can’t give false hopes to the family, but on the other hand, you shouldn’t be insensitive to their needs either. Dealing with patients and their families sets the foundation of an effective relationship.
To fully understand the importance of maintaining relationships in Nursing, you’ll need experience and higher educational qualifications.
Without adequate knowledge, you won’t understand the importance of your profession or move ahead in your career.
With that said, there are a lot of professional courses and degree programs that can help you learn and excel in your profession. For starters, you can enroll yourself in advanced degree programs like a masters nurse practitioner to up your game in dealing with patient care, learning new skills, and progressing in your career.
While professional and cordial relationships with staff members are the cornerstone for a true team approach, it is of utmost importance to deal with patients and their families professionally and solve complex problems without any hiccups.
Overall, earning a professional degree can make you a better nursing professional. To further emphasize maintaining relationships, here are some valuable tips for nurses to manage relationships without violating boundaries.
Be an Effective Communicator
Communities believe that nurses are ethical, unbiased, and safe. They are true professionals who give the utmost care to the patients. To achieve this, there must be professional boundaries with the clients.
As a nurse, you should communicate to the patients and their families about your roles and responsibilities and at the same time set boundaries and convey the limitations you have.
Usually, with long-term patient care, the boundaries may seem blurred out due to increased expectations and the nature of the relationship becoming more personal. The blurred boundaries can cause problems instead of better patient care.
Wrong expectations are misleading and can lead to a confusion of responsibilities. Communicate to the patients clearly about what they can expect from you.
Maintain relationships at all levels
Whether you are a senior nurse leading a team or a midwife, it is crucial to understand that you depend on several people to function well and succeed in your profession.
Different pieces in the puzzle fit together to make up the parts. Even if one piece is missing, you can’t complete the puzzle. It is equally essential to maintain professional relationships with each team member. In the nursing profession, precious lives are involved. One little mistake can cost a life, and patients can suffer.
Have an open dialogue with your manager
There are instances when the relationship between a caregiver and a patient can become confusing. It can raise questions about possible boundary violations, breaches of trust, and privacy issues.
For instance, you may have cared for a patient who recovered, and later you met them at a local grocery store. From there onwards, the relationship changed into a personal one. Your manager should be aware of the advancement.
If there is any chance of ongoing treatment, you should not have any relationship with the patient as it creates a power imbalance and an ethical conflict. So it’s always better to talk to your manager and keep them informed.
Be clear about duty hours
There is a common misconception that you are entitled to be on duty at all times as a nurse. It is not valid.
Friends and family members think you can advise on any health issue. Giving professional advice and dealing with patients at your clinic is different from casually passing remarks on a health matter over a coffee cup.
Tell your friends that you are here for a casual visit and can’t offer any authentic advice on the health problem. Ask them to visit the hospital or clinic during office hours for better treatment. This is a perfect example of setting boundaries and drawing a line between professional and personal help.
Maintain professional code of conduct
Maintain professional conduct at all times. It is a good idea to regularly reflect on patient care strategies and how you deal with complex problems from time to time.
Reviewing your performance is a great way to understand that your professional boundaries are managed. For instance, you may speak about a patient without consent and send it to another consultant you think would provide better feedback on the health issue.
Have you taken the patient’s consent before you spoke about them? Remember, you can’t share any personal information with anyone without informing the patient about it.
Keeping a professional code of conduct in dealing with any problem is an effective way of balancing relationships.
Follow these steps and ensure your patients are delighted with you. As a nurse, you should uphold professional codes of conduct, avoid privacy breaches, regularly reflect on practice, be clear about your boundaries, and ensure your behavior is in the patient’s best interest.
Effective communication is the key to maintaining healthy relationships in the nursing profession!