Career advice

Professional boundaries: when is friendly too friendly?

How to spot the difference between natural human warmth and over-familiarity in nursing

How to know where to draw the line between human warmth and over-sharing with patients – and why maintaining professional distance is essential for your career as well as your patient’s care

Forming therapeutic relationships with patients is an essential part of nursing practice, enabling the development of trust and respect and allowing patients to be treated with dignity.

As nurses, you will often see patients at their most vulnerable; their barriers will be down, and they may share intimate feelings or information with you.

What might seem like a friendly response may be professionally inappropriate

While sharing your own experiences or feelings is


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