(NC) Rather than receiving health care in hospitals or long-term care settings, many people choose to receive ongoing care in the comfort of their own home. Although this setting may seem less formal, the relationship between home health nurses and their patients must remain professional.
Nurses are experts at building trusting relationships. The relationship between you and your nurse can sometimes feel like a friendship, especially if the nurse provides care to you over an extended period. In such situations, you or your family may want to offer gifts or invite the nurse on vacations to show gratitude for the care they’ve provided.
However, nurses are first and foremost responsible for providing you with care. Many employers, as well as the College of Nurses of Ontario, the province’s nursing regulator, recommend that nurses not accept gifts from patients and families. It can be awkward for everyone when a nurse declines a well-meaning gesture. The College has guidelines to help nurses acknowledge patients’ gratitude while also maintaining professionalism.
To keep your health care needs the priority, nurses follow standards set by the College that do not allow them to: give or receive gifts; be included in a will; participate in financial transactions not directly related to caregiving; interfere in patients’ personal relationships, or enter into personal relationships with them. Nurses have their patients’ best interests at heart, not other benefits.
More information about these and other standards that help with appropriate nurse-patient relationships and promote your safe care is available online at www.cno.org/here.