Professional Relationships in Clinical Practice

Many relationships and opportunities for students arise while in the clinical setting. Maintaining professional boundaries and relationships is essential to ethical practice. Students are requested to refrain from accepting employment and socializing outside of the clinical setting with clients or a client’s family while maintaining a professional relationship.

Students may not care for family members, significant others, friends, or close acquaintances during clinical rotations as this poses ethical, legal, privacy, and personal conflict issues.

Students should not give their home/cell phone numbers to clients or a client’s family. Students should have clients contact them through either the clinical agency or through an approved method of communication as determined by the clinical faculty of record. This will help prevent unnecessary, unwanted, or inappropriate contacts. When students need to contact clients within a community, students should call their clients during the regular workday; unscheduled calls should not be made after 9:00 p.m. or on the weekend.

Students must not transport clients in their personal vehicle. Students should arrange to meet the client as needed at the health care agency.

Students should not sign as witnesses for legal documents such as surgery permits. It is also recommended students not witness wills or other similar legal documents. Refer any such requests to instructor or appropriate nursing personnel in the clinical agency.

Students are discouraged from giving gifts to faculty and clinical staff or accepting gifts from clients. Students are encouraged to show their appreciation through words and thank you notes rather than gifts.