and Maintaining a Professional Relationship
Many nurses in practice today
received their basic nursing education in an era that proscribed personal relationships
between nurses and patients/families. It is not professional, they were taught,
to allow any personal elements into the relationship; nurses should not discuss
their own lives, families, experiences, or issues. For nurses who work with families
of children with special needs for many years, this advice is unrealistic and
Today, there are more realistic
guidelines governing professional practice. Beckman, Frank, and Newcomb (1996)
promote an excellent set of precepts for professionals who wish to demonstrate
respect, acceptance, and empathy for the family of a child with disabilities.
Concepts not previously covered in parts I
of this series of courses are summarized on the next 3 pages.