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Forming Relationships With Families

Forming Relationships With Families

Forming Relationships With Families

As a Nurse, we must develop a strong rapport with the family in order to provide compassionate care. When working in a critical care setting, such a connection is invaluable for both the nurse and the patient’s loved ones. Communicating well, acting ethically, and working together are all necessary ingredients for a successful nurse-family partnership. However, there are obstacles that must be cleared away before such a partnership can become a reality.

There are many challenges that nurses face while trying to connect with patients’ loved ones. There is the problem of religion and spirituality first. Sometimes, it might be difficult for a nurse and a patient to get along if their respective beliefs are quite different. If each or all of them is a firm believer in his or her faith, the situation becomes much more complicated. Such views may run counter to standard medical procedures, making it more difficult for the nurse to do her work. Moreover, some faiths may make it impossible for a nurse of the opposite gender to the patient to provide adequate care.

Second, there’s the problem of families and nurses having trouble communicating due to cultural differences. For instance, bias within the family can prevent the patient’s loved ones from opening up to their doctor. Unfortunately, some families look down on nurses. This occurs frequently in settings where nurses are not given the same respect as medical professionals (Tung et al., 2019). Some nurses, maybe as a result of this lack of knowledge, have a preference for working in settings such as intensive care units, where there is little interaction between doctors and patients’ loved ones.

Forming Relationships With Families

Finally, issues in the workplace must be considered. Working nurses endure a number of stresses that might have a severe effect on their personal relationships. Issues such as excessive amounts of work, insufficient resources, and limited time are all examples. It’s possible that nurses won’t have time to connect with patients’ loved ones and build meaningful relationships if they have to prioritize caring for a large number of patients. Nurses’ demeanor may also deteriorate in response to unfavorable working conditions. Disrupted communication and bad working relationships between nurses often result when one or both become irritated from stress on the job.

It’s important to remember that some families and nurses may have competing interests that prevent them from forming strong bonds. For instance, a dilemma may occur when a nurse must choose between doing what is best for the patient and doing what is best for the organization (Kong et al., 2022). It’s possible that a low-income patient has an urgent need for additional medication but cannot afford to pay for it. The nurse’s loyalties would be split between providing for the patient’s needs and adhering to administrative regulations.

Forming Relationships With Families

In general, nurses and families need to work well together to provide the best care possible to patients. There may be obstacles to forming strong relationships on a personal and professional level. For the benefit of their patients, doctors need to figure out how to work around these kinds of problems. A positive, trusting relationship is crucial to a definitive diagnosis.


Kong, E. H., Kim, H., & Kim, H. (2022). Nursing home staff’s perceptions of barriers and needs in implementing person-centered care for people living with dementia: A qualitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 31(13-14), 1896-1906.

Tung, G. J., Williams, V. N., Ayele, R., Shimasaki, S., & Olds, D. (2019). Characteristics of effective collaboration: A study of Nurse-Family Partnership and child welfare. Child abuse & neglect, 95, 104028.


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What are the potential barriers to forming an effective relationship with families?  What, if any, might be potential conflicts of interest?

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Forming Relationships With Families

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