Tips on Treating a Patient Who Has a Nurse Family Member

February 11th, 2016

Providing quality patient care while showing empathy is the prime directive for anyone in the nursing industry. Things become more interesting when the patient is a family member of yours or someone else on your team. Is it possible to still offer the same level of care without becoming distracted or conflicted in some other way?

Here are a few tips on staying focused when treating a family member as a patient. Let’s check them out.

Staying Objective is Vital

It is vital you or your coworkers remain completely objective when treating a family member as a patient. Loss of objectivity is a main reason why some experts don’t recommend providing medical care to a family member. While it is difficult to temper one’s emotions, always staying in a clinical frame of mind is important.

Keep Any Assessments or Treatments to a Medical Office Setting

In some cases, it is acceptable to offer informal medical advice or opinions to a sick family member no matter the current location, any real assessments or treatments should take place in a hospital or medical office. This is a case where family members deserve the same level of care as the public, and a home setting just isn’t the same thing. Encourage the sick family member to make an appointment with their primary care physician if necessary.

Don’t forget about HIPPA Regulations!

Sometimes in the relatively informal setting of treating a family member, it becomes easy to forget about patient privacy issues. Make it a point to never forget about HIPPA regulations whether you are seeing someone from your family or a complete stranger. Any patient retains the right to private medical care — no matter their relationship to the provider.

Encourage the Patient to seek a Second Opinion when Necessary

When looking at the situation from the patient’s point of view, they might not feel right rejecting medical advice or refusing treatment from a family member. Encourage them to get a second opinion if desired. This is another example showing the importance of empathy for the medical professional. Make them feel comfortable whatever their final decision.

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