A psychiatric nurse is discharging a patient whom the nurse finds charming and very intelligent. What is the appropriate response when the patient asks for the nurse's phone number?


• It would be unethical for the nurse to give his or her number to a patient. This is a boundary violation and abuse of the patient-nurse relationship.

• The nurse should explain to the patient that it is not appropriate for them to exchange phone numbers for any type of relationship outside of the patient-nurse role. 

• Exchanging phone numbers to have contact outside the clinical or hospital setting is inappropriate, no matter which one gives out their phone number. A relationship developing outside the nurse-patient role is inappropriate.

• Exchanging e-mail addresses is not any more appropriate than exchanging phone numbers. Nurses must maintain their professionalism to protect their licenses.

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