Mental and healthcare providers need special awareness of professional boundary crossings and violations. There is a tendency towards encouraging those individuals to behave more empathically and less formally with their patients and clients makes such awareness increasingly important. Professional boundary ethics have been incorporated into the professional codes of many mental and healthcare providers all over the country, but it is important to have continuing education throughout the year (Al Sayyari, Hejaili, Jamal, Shamsi & Tamim, 2010).
Mental and Healthcare providers must have specialized training to strike the right balance between rigidity and formality on one hand and undue laxity and informality in their approach on the other. This is the result in crossing boundaries and improper practice, with resulting harm to patients and clients. There is an important distinction than includes awareness of the distinction between boundary crossing and the boundary violations (Al Sayyari, Hejaili, Jamal, Shamsi & Tamim, 2010).
Examples of boundary crossings would include paying the clients or patients bus fare or a bill; giving him or her a hug when a client or patient is distressed, and so on. Boundary violations, on the other hand, involve crossings that have the potential to prove harmful and exploitive to the client or patient. Boundary violations can involve a myriad of behaviors. Examples of these include- sexual abuse and harassment, sexual relationships, abuse of time or place of work, taking financial advantage of the client or patient, demanding gifts, coercing patients, misuse of fiduciary relationship, and improper with pharmaceutical companies (Al Sayyari, Hejaili, Jamal, Shamsi & Tamim, 2010).
The worst type of boundary crossing involves having sexual relationships with clients or patients. This is most often, but not always, occurs between a male employee and a female client or patient. However, a few cases of boundary crossings of a sexual nature between male physicians and females patients have reached the courts and been recounted in the popular press (Al Sayyari, Hejaili, Jamal, Shamsi & Tamim, 2010).
“One study on public health nurses cited interesting ethical dilemmas associated with community nursing, including boundary maintenance, crossing, and relational response. The nurses pondered the question of how to treat vulnerable others with dignity and respect while still making difficult care decisions. In all instances, the goal focused on optimizing the good while maintaining supportive relationships. Another recurring boundary issue identified by these authors focused on interprofessional issues with the perception by the nurses of inequalities/and power differentials, particularly in interactions with physicians. Indeed relational conflicts with other health care professionals stood out prominently among the concerns expressed by these nurses” (Al Sayyari, Hejaili, Jamal, Shamsi & Tamim, 2010) .
To begin the...