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Not me: Not my colleague

While it may be hard to believe a nurse in your facility could sexually abuse patients, studies show that it can be anyone. Preventing patient sexual abuse includes education and awareness about how the law defines sexual abuse for health care professionals and the behaviours that can lead to sexual abuse.

Many nurses may not be aware that a sexual relationship with a patient is sexual abuse under Ontario law. Even though some actions may seem innocent to a nurse (for example, spending extra time with a patient after shift), multiple gestures similar in nature could be considered a boundary crossing which may lead to sexual abuse. There is also a misunderstanding of the timeframe that someone is considered a “patient” after the therapeutic nurse-patient relationship. 

Page last reviewed March 06, 2020