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Informed Consent

Depending on the nurse’s area of practice, clinical touching of patients may become routine for the nurse. However, it is never routine for the patient. Nurses must ensure that before patient care is provided, that they explain what they are doing and why, and receive informed consent from the patient. Nurses must remain aware of the power they hold in health care settings and keep the patient perspective in view.

Strategies to help nurses keep patients comfortable and informed include:

  • Giving clear, timely explanations of why a procedure is needed
  • Ensuring touching will not be misinterpreted by the patient by explaining exactly what they will do and why it is necessary
  • Answering questions the patient may have
  • Respecting the patient's right to privacy:
    • provide appropriate draping
    • leave the room when the patient changes clothes
  • Being knowledgeable about gender, cultural, and ethnic sensitivities
  • Being alert to possible misunderstandings
  • Asking themselves what a neutral outsider would say if observing your conduct

CMPA - Respecting Boundaries - Preventing Boundary Issues




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Page last reviewed March 02, 2020