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Complaints to the college

What happens to the thera​peutic relationship when boundaries are crossed and a nurse puts personal needs ahead of a client's needs?

  

 These hypothetical scenarios illustrate the types of complaints the College receives about boundary violations, financial abuse, and conflict of interest by nurses. ​​​​

Scenario 1

Dianne has been providing home care to Mr. Adams for several months and enjoys their weekly visits. Mr. Adams is easy-going and often calls her his favourite nurse. When Dianne arrives late one morning, she apologizes and tells him about her car troubles. They commiserate over the cost of car repairs and Dianne confesses that she can't afford to have it fixed right now.  Mr. Adams offers to lend her his car, reminding her that he can't drive right now anyway.​​

What does Dianne decide?

Telling herself th​at she's only borrowing it for a few days, she accepts the offer. ​When Mr. Adam's son learns of the situation, he reports Dianne to the agency manager. After meeting with her and conducting an investigation, the manager reports Dianne's actions to the college. The college's investigation reveals that Dianne had used the car for a period of eight weeks, only returning it when her actions were reported.

​​Scenario 2

Barbara is hired to provide private nursing care for Mr. Smith in his home. She soon recognizes that Mrs. Smith needs help with banking and bill paying. Knowing that Mrs. Smith has no close family, Barbara offers to assist by driving her to the bank and helping her pay bills. After several weeks, Mrs. Smith tells Barbara that she really depends on her and asks her to act as her power of attorney. ​​​

Does Barbara agree?

Barbara doesn't consider Mrs. Smith her client and agrees to take this on. When another agency nurse learns of this agreement, she reports Barbara to the college.

A subsequent investigation reveals that Barbara accepted an appointment as power of attorney for Mrs. Smith. It also found that she paid several of her own personal bills, totalling close to $500, from Mrs. Smith's accou​nt.

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Scenario 3

Jarrod works on a rehab unit and is caring for Mrs. Walter, a client with diabetes and a recent amputation. Mrs. Walter, concerned about her ability to manage on her own, has decided to move into an independent housing facility. Mrs. Walter tells Jarrod about the home she's lived in for 50 years and confesses she doesn't know anything about selling a house.  ​​​​

What does Jarrod do?

Jarrod tells her that his partner is a realtor, leaves his partner's business card and organizes to have him drop by that evening. When Mrs. Walter tells another nurse about how helpful Jarrod has been, the nurse reports the incident to the manager. After a workplace meeting, Jarrod's manager reports him to the college. 

The subsequent college investigation reveals that on two previous occasions, the employer cautioned Jarrod about discussing his partner's business with clients and gave him a letter of expectation. The employer also required all staff, including Jarrod, to review organizational policies related to conflict of interest.  Despite this, Jarrod repeated the behaviour.​​

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