The College of Optometrists

Principles of maintaining boundaries

C155
You must never abuse your professional position,275 for example by pursuing a sexual or inappropriate emotional relationship with a patient or their carer. This is because it can damage public trust in the optometric profession, and the inappropriate relationship may affect decisions you can make about a patient’s care.
C156
You are in a position of power and trust with your patients and should maintain appropriate boundaries in how you communicate with your patients and their carers.
C157
You should not express personal beliefs, including political, religious and moral beliefs, to patients in ways that could exploit them if they are vulnerable or which might distress them.
C158
The definition of a carer in this section of guidance is a professional carer, family member, partner or friend who looks after the patient to the extent that they are part of their clinical experience, for example a parent who accompanies their child to hospital.
C159
If you are attracted to a patient, you must not act on these feelings. If you are not sure whether this is affecting your professional judgement, you should discuss this with a colleague or with your professional or representative body.
C160
You should be sensitive to cultural differences in personal boundaries.

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