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Having a Professional Presence: Creating Professional Boundaries

presented by Nathalie Rennell, MSN, RN, CNE

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Financial— Nathalie Rennell receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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It can be argued that contemporary American society has become less formal than in the past, with evolving social norms for dress, speech, and communication styles. There are also differences between generations about social norms. Recognizing and responding to these differences present special challenges for employees in today's home care environment as they try to create a professional yet personable presence and to establish and maintain professional boundaries with patients, family members, and other team members. This practical course will incorporate real life situations, examples, and research with a straightforward approach that addresses attire, language, and attitude's role in having a professional presence and creating professional boundaries.

Meet Your Instructor

Nathalie Rennell, MSN, RN, CNE

Nathalie Rennell currently cares for her medically fragile grandson. Prior to making this transition, she was an instructor in the RN-BSN/CEP programs and on the honors faculty with the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU). She was also faculty at the Phoenix Institute for Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA).…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Why Professional Presence and Professional Boundaries are Important in Home Care

An introduction to the concepts of professional presence and professional boundaries will be provided in this chapter as well as the definitions of these terms that will be used throughout this course. Connections between concepts, behavior, appropriate relationships with patients and other members of the health care team, productivity, and personal safety will be discussed at length. Workplace, legal, and professional issues in relation to professional presence, boundaries, boundary crossings, and boundary violations will also be discussed.

2. How Does My Attire Create Professional Presence and Establish Professional Boundaries?

Through discussion and images reinforced by examples and stories, this chapter looks at the “Three S’s” approach to attire. The “Three S’s” of Show Respect (dress for the occasion), Shift Focus (from you to the patient and/or family), and Safety (personal injury and personal safety), will be explained in relation to their significance in selecting a wardrobe for home care work settings. This approach can be utilized by all members of the home care team, from direct care providers to office staff to management.

3. How Does My Use of Language Create Professional Presence and Establish Professional Boundaries

The act of visiting a person in their home can produce an atmosphere of using personalized conversation. A patient’s desire for staff to use a personalized style can produce difficulties with the balance between personal and professional language. This chapter will utilize the “Three S’s” approach to identify examples where professional presence and professional boundaries are enhanced with elements of language.

4. What is the Role of a Person’s Attitude in Creating Professional Boundaries?

How one goes about their day provides an opportunity to establish professional boundaries and avoid boundary crossings. A person’s attitude is an important element in how one goes about their day. In this chapter, a question and answer format will be used to highlight specific behaviors that originate from using the "Three S’s" approach when focusing on attitude. This approach assists in creating positive relationships and minimizes opportunities for boundary crossings, e.g., gifts, loans. Real life examples of how this approach promoted personal safety will also be shared.

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