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Comfort patients during the holidays without crossing boundaries

Being hospitalized during the holidays can be stressful and saddening for your patients. It is important to remember that your patients are having a difficult time. As a nurse, you can take some simple steps to help your patients feel more joyful during this hard time.

However, while you should comfort your patients, you do not want to cross any lines. If you take things too far, you may be the subject of a misconduct investigation. Here are some guidelines for improving the outlook of your patients while they are hospitalized during the winter holidays and avoiding unprofessional conduct.

Bring the holiday spirit to the workplace

The holiday spirit should be present in your workstation and patient rooms. Decorations at your workstation and along the hallways can go a long way to lifting the spirits of patients. You never know how far some simple dollar-store or hand-crafted decorations can go to making everyone feel better. 

Additionally, presents make anyone happy. If you are taking care of someone near a holiday, remember that a little goes a long way. You do not need to spend a lot of money on gifts for your patients. Even a few dollars for a box of cookies, hand towel or grooming kit can brighten up the mood of your patients. If you are caring for kids, consider giving a board game or stuffed toy. 

Avoid crossing boundaries

While you are bringing cheer and comfort to your patients, remember to keep healthy boundaries. You do not want to do anything that may come across as even remotely flirtatious or suggestive. Avoid excessive self-disclosure or touching. Remember to always keep professional limits on your relationships with your patients. 

Being a nurse during the holidays can be tricky. But by going above and beyond, you can avoid disciplinary matters and investigations.

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