Befriending Patients: A Word of Caution
Nurses often guide patients and families through the most challenging times of their lives. Nurses may grow attached and form bonds with their patients maintaining contact after the care has ended.
Becoming friends on Facebook or other social media forums, texting, and visiting a patient’s home may have unforeseen consequences. If a nurse ends a friendship the now former patient may make accusations of unprofessional conduct in retaliation.
Patients have claimed that a nurse took medication from their home, used their credit cards to make unauthorized purchases after giving the nurse permission to use the card, or made inappropriate advances. Sometimes it is the patient’s family members who make accusations against the nurse. Complaints can even be filed anonymously to the Department of Health.
I am not suggesting that Florida nurses should never befriend a patient. I am cautioning nurses to examine the boundaries of their relationship and know that the text messages, Facebook posts, and emails they send may be read by an investigator and prosecutor for the Florida Department of Health.
If you are ever in this unfortunate situation, please contact me to discuss.
You worked hard to obtain your nursing license and I will work hard to protect your license.
Call me today for a free telephone consultation.