Nurses face many challenges and situations that can place their license at risk. Relationships and contact with patients, colleagues, and the general public should not be one of them. Unfortunately, it is a major concern – one that every nurse should understand. Learn more about how overstepping your professional boundaries can place your nursing license at risk, how to mitigate against the risk, and what you can do if you become the subject of an investigation by the Texas Board of Nursing.
Maintaining Professional Boundaries in the Nursing Industry
Interacting with, comforting, and encouraging patients is a nurse’s area of expertise. Unfortunately, patients can sometimes misinterpret little things like the touch of a hand, the use of a pet name, or a hug. With the patient in a position of vulnerability, the effect is often intensified, possibly to the point that it may appear as though the nurse took advantage of their position of power. Of course, this is rarely true, but an investigation may still ensue. As a result, the nurse’s character, professionalism, reputation, and license are all placed at risk.
What happens, though, when a nurse oversteps the boundaries because they feel they are making a positive choice for their life? What of the storybook romances that sometimes occur within the workplace or with a patient? Truth be told, it is a risk that is rarely worth the consequence. Even in situations where the relationship is positive for a while, the nurse will always run the danger of the relationship going south. If that happens, they could be accused of misconduct. Worse yet, if the relationship was valid, the BON may have the evidence they need to suspend, revoke, or restrict a nurse’s license.
Nurse Disciplined After Patient Relationship
In one recent case, a female nurse was ultimately disciplined after her relationship with a male patient. The two first met in the emergency room. The patient-nurse interaction time lasted 20 minutes. Then, while on lunch break, the nurse saw the patient in the parking lot. The two exchanged phone numbers, and days later, a brief romantic relationship ensued. The Texas Board of Nursing investigated her after receiving a complaint of a boundaries violation. The case was ultimately settled before just before it went to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The nurse agreed to go through remedial education on ethics and boundaries. Had her case progressed further, it could have resulted in more serious consequences. Thankfully, she had legal counsel on her side.
Contact Our Seasoned Texas Nursing License Defense Lawyer
If you have found yourself in the position of an investigation, it is crucial that you seek experienced legal assistance. With nearly 30 years of experience in the medical-legal arena, Oscar San Miguel, Attorney at Law, is the advocate you can trust to handle your case. Our Texas nursing license defense lawyer will aggressively protect your rights and always pursues the most favorable outcome possible. Schedule your free consultation by calling 512-228-7946 today.