The Therapeutic Nurse-Client Relationship

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The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the therapeutic nurse client relationships that a nurse fulfills in accordance with the professional standards guidelines published by the College of Nurses of Ontario. The criteria used to do this will include therapeutic communication, client centered care, boundaries and appropriate use of power. “Maintaining clear, caring boundaries with patients and families, while remaining the consummate professional, is the role of the nurse operating from a standard of therapeutic relationship” (Allenbach & Steinmiller, 2004 p 24). This is important because the therapeutic relationship is a professional relationship, and clearly differs from that as a social encounter. As nurses and nursing students this is a crucial relationship to manage. It requires constant assessment, evaluation and subjectivity on the nurse’s part to stay within the professional standards that the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) publishes. The document breaks the therapeutic relationship into five distinct components of trust, respect, professional intimacy, empathy, and power. It does not matter the context or the length of this relationship or how involved in the individual’s care the nurse is these five components are always to be present and strictly adhered to (CNO, 2006). Nursing is a human endeavour it incorporates both interpersonal and social skills where communication occurs within the context of this relationship (Evans, 2007, p189). In every therapeutic relationship there are a minimum of 2 people involved that is the nurse and the client. However the nurse will not only have to collaborate with other professional of the healthcare team, but may also have multiple family members involved. So when a nurse takes on a client they must also take on their family, their home life, their illness, and their lifestyle. The nurse needs to find the balance by maintaining a constant connection with the client so that she may obtain...
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