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Career advice

Maintaining professional boundaries

Keeping the balance right in nurse-patient relationships is vital to protect yourself, your patients and avoid burn out.
Professional boundaries

Maintaining professional boundaries is vital, says health coach Mandy Day-Calder

A trusting relationship is fundamental for effective nursing practice. Patients need to feel safe in your care and have faith that you will act in their best interest at all times.

You will see your patients at their most vulnerable, physically and emotionally. Their barriers will be down and they may share intimate feelings. Your role, as stated in the Nursing and Midwifery Council code, is to hold back these emotions, act with integrity and maintain clear professional boundaries at all times.


All relationships need boundaries, which help define what is expected and what is acceptable. As well as protecting patients and the public, maintaining professional boundaries is vital for a nurse if you want to avoid burnout and enjoy a lengthy career.

Most patients do not choose to


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