Professional Boundaries: A Reflection

Carole Duff
Matron, Inpatients/Daycare, London, UK

Maintaining personal and professional boundaries between a nurse and patient is an ongoing challenge in health care. The reflection below highlights one particular case in the context of palliative care, where the nurse–patient interaction was especially close. It raises important questions about the nature of care, and essentially speaks for itself. It is presented here to stimulate discussion and debate about an area of health care that is perhaps one of the hardest and most challenging – supporting patients as they reach the end of their lives.
I hope that you will be as deeply moved as I am by this reflection, written by a nurse born and trained overseas, and who has been working with our team for the past five years. Working overseas, and with nurses not trained in the UK, has challenged and expanded my view of what nursing ‘is’ in broad terms, particularly in relation to professional boundaries between nurse and patient. Read more . . .