In this section
are responsible for maintaining professional boundaries in their day to day
work with patients and families. Professional
boundaries enable staff and patient/family to engage safely and effectively in
a therapeutic relationship.
Procedure applies to all RCH employees, students and volunteers, contractors,
honorary employees and, Board Members of the Royal Children's Hospital. For the
purpose of this procedure, reference to staff is inclusive of all persons
Professional boundaries are the limits to the
relationship of a member of staff and a person in their care which allow for a
safe, therapeutic connection between the staff and that person (and their
nominated partners, family and friends), protecting both staff
professional boundaries includes recognising the potential conflicts, risks and
complexities of providing care to patients for example who have had lengthy, or
frequent episodes of care. It can be
challenging and staff should raise any concerns or training needs with their
relationships between RCH staff, patients and their family members are not
appropriate and this includes social relationships via social networking sites
or electronic means.
visit patients at home only on work related business which is agreed by the
team and documented in the EMR. Requests
by patients and families for staff to visit at home outside of these
arrangements should be declined by staff, documented in the EMR and discussed
with their manager.
encouraged to declare to their manager if there is a pre-existing social
relationship (acquaintance, friend, relative connection etc.) with a patient or
their family. The Manager will manage
any declaration sensitively, maintain confidentially at all times and only
inform others on a need to know basis.
professional boundaries will be managed in line with existing RCH procedures to
ensure the safety of staff and patients/families is managed accordingly.
feel comfortable to disclose any personal relationship that may impact their
ability to perform their role on the basis of professional boundary challenges,
to their manager. If this is not possible or the preferred option, staff should
raise their concern with a HR Partner for assistance and next steps.
staff, including the potential to extract staff from situations or instances
where professional boundaries may be challenged, can be enabled through 1-1
discussion between a manager and the staff member concerned. Strategies to
support staff to feel safe to perform their role may need to be developed,
subject to the circumstances.
reminded of options to discuss issues of this nature, including the RCH Employee
Assistance Program provided by Converge International, or the RCH Peer Support program
for counselling and support.
Guide to Professional Boundaries - Australian Nursing & Midwifery Board -
Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners - Pharmacy Board of Australia March
Conduct for Registered Health Practitioners - Physiotherapy Board of Australia
Ethics - The Australian Psychological Society Ltd September 2007
Practice: A code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia - Australian Medical
RCH Code of
Patient's Rights and Responsibilities
Culturally Appropriate Healthcare Delivery to Aboriginal Patients and their
& Positive Workplace Behaviours Procedure
Director People & Culture