Why Boundaries are Important
Boundaries serve three important functions. They provide:
- Patient protection
- Staff protection
- Clear definition of the professional relationship
Patient Protection – Boundaries help to ensure that what happens in the dialysis clinic is always in the best interest of the patient. Your patients are not there to meet your emotional, physical, financial, sexual, or any other personal needs.
Staff Protection – Boundaries also protect YOU as a dialysis professional. A patient may want to pursue a friendship with you outside of the clinic or may want you to loan him money. You can quickly and gently say that you can’t be friends outside the clinic or give the patient money (even if you are certain the patient will pay you back!), because it is a boundary violation and also against a company policy.
Professionalism – Boundaries also help to keep clear that the relationship between you and your patients is professional, and not personal. Boundaries help you stay focused on your professional role: to give quality care to patients in the clinic. The relationship should not include friendship, dating, or sharing too much personal information with a patient.