Exploring Professional Boundaries in AYA Nursing Care

  • Jamie T. CargillEmail author


Professional boundaries are central for the establishment of therapeutic relationships for all healthcare professionals yet notably essential for nursing when caring for adolescents and young adults with cancer (AYA). Yet do tensions exist between the balance of involvement that is beneficial in the therapeutic relationship and one that is too close and potentially destructive? Is this challenge a common occurrence in AYA nursing, where prolonged involvement, caring and intimacy form the basis from which nursing care is delivered?

Despite efforts in recent years to place greater emphasis on the professional role within the patient/nurse relationship, the management of professional boundaries continues to be a routine concern for this group of nurses and for others in practice. This is becoming more so with the advent of social media and its ever pervasive presence in all our lives. This chapter explores the very real challenges facing AYA nurses in achieving a professional yet therapeutic relationship and offers insight into how education, supervision and an increased awareness that any professional, whatever the level of experience, may struggle with defining when ‘close is too close’.


Professional boundaries Therapeutic Relationships Social media Professionalism Caring 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Teenage and Young Adult South West Cancer Service, Bristol Haematology and Oncology CentreUniversity Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation TrustBristolUK

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