There is a topic that healthcare professionals may not like to talk about, but it happens: falling in love with a patient.
In a situation where you provide care to another human, they can start to view you as a hero, a strong figure in their life, someone they admire for the quality of care you provide. With patients who are hospitalized for longer periods of time, this type of adoration can increase daily. With continuous interaction, you and this patient will learn a lot about each other, and this can lead to deep feelings of affection. Usually these feelings are simply a strong bond of friendship and trust that helps your patient get better and go home, but it can be something more. It can be feelings of love and a romantic affection.
You may also begin to have feelings for this person. While there is nothing wrong with developing feelings, it is important not to prioritize their care over your other patients because of your feelings. You must maintain a professional level of care for this person. As a nurse, you can sometimes be susceptible to a particularly nice patient or one that is charismatic due to the nature of your job. A shift can be boring, the patient can be magnetic, and you are drawn in. Are these the true feelings for a relationship or just an attraction?
Keep your wits about you. It is not worth risking your job for a possible relationship. Consider pulling back from the patient a bit and waiting until they are no longer your patient. While this may be difficult, it can show you both whether it is something you really want to pursue. Always remain professional and don’t compromise patient care, your job or your team for your romantic feelings. Find ways to make it work and change floors, change departments or change hospitals if you need to.
We here at the Nurse Backpack care about you, your needs and how your personal life fits in with your professional life. To keep both of them in order, use our Nurse Backpack app to make everything easier!