The Code of Ethics for Nurses states, “When acting within one’s role as a professional, the nurse recognizes and maintains boundaries that establish appropriate limits to relationships.” Behaviors considered inappropriate can be separated into three categories: boundary crossing, boundary violation, and sexual misconduct.3 Nurses should visit their state board of nursing’s website to explore how the concepts of boundaries and sexual misconduct are defined in their own state.Boundary crossing: Caution The NCSBN defines a boundary crossing as a decision to deviate from an established boundary for a therapeutic purpose.The Department of Health commissioned the report on 'Clear Sexual Boundaries Between Health Professionals and Patients' from the CHRE after three national inquiries found serious failings in the handling of cases of sexual abuse of patients.
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A client's dignity, autonomy and privacy are kept safe within the nurse-client relationship.
Within the nurse-client relationship, the client is often vulnerable because the nurse has more power than the client.
The proposals, the first of their kind, are expected to go before ministers in June, reported Nursing Standard.
The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence said professionals had a duty to report inappropriate behaviour.
Members included clinicians, victims of abuse, royal colleges and representatives from health-care regulatory bodies.
Prof Julie Stone, the CHRE deputy director, said the guidelines would provide common standards across the professions.In 2005 the Kerr-Haslam inquiry found that allegations of indecent assault against two psychiatrists from North Yorkshire were often ignored by NHS consultants.Clear boundaries The draft guidance states that health professionals must establish and maintain clear sexual boundaries.Doctors and nurses may be banned from dating former patients unless the contact between them was minimal, according to new draft guidelines.The recommendations follow a series of high-profile cases where healthcare staff sexually abused patients.However, it adds that relationships are unprofessional if the patient is exploited, was vulnerable or the professional relationship was terminated to start a sexual relationship.