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Dual Relationships: Managing Ethical Boundaries (NA1746)


Author(s): Patsy Barnes, RN, BA


Pre-Approved for: ACM, CA BRN, CCAPP, CCM, CDMS, CE Broker Provider, CLCP, CRC, CRRN, CVRP, Delaware BON, MCBAP-Related, MSCC, NAADAC, RNs, VRA-Canada


Credit Hours: 4


Course Format

This course is online. All course material is available online and is accessible immediately after purchase from your account homepage. Certificate of Completion is available immediately upon passing the exam.

Course Overview

In this course, we explore the concept of boundaries in healthcare and the complications that stem from dual relationships. We introduce several readings from experts in the field and include a discussion exploring the positive and negative aspects of dual relationships. We also discuss how certain circumstances, specifically rural and small community practices, lead to inevitable dual relationships. There is a focus on the ethical components of managing dual relationships and discuss the management of those relationships through a question-based framework. To further the students’ understanding, we will explore all aspects through a series of cases studies. The Codes of Conduct for CCM, CRC, and CDMS are included in relation to this ethical dilemma and the responsibility of the healthcare provider.

CCM, CRC, CDMS, CLCP, CVRP, MSCC and RRP ETHICS CREDIT APPROVED. The CCMC Professional Code of Conduct will be referenced in this presentation. 


Course Objectives

  1. Explain boundaries in healthcare and how they can be violated in dual relationships

  2. Present the different types of dual relationships and levels of involvement

  3. Compare and contrast the positive and negative aspects of dual relationships

  4. Discuss the inevitability of dual relationships in small communities and rural areas

  5. List some ethical questions to use in managing dual relationships

  6. Provide the information in their Code of Conduct as it relates to dual relationships

Course Outline

  1. Boundaries, Crossing Boundaries, and Violating Boundaries

  2. Therapeutic Boundaries and Dual Relationships

  3. Dual Relationships in Small and Rural Communities

  4. Ethics and Dual Relationships

  5. Codes of Conduct and Their Guidance on Boundaries and Dual Relationships

  6. Case Studies

Customer Testimonial

This couse is a great reminder and refresher. I live in a somewhat rural area in Southern Oregon. I work in a very rural and isolated setting with youth 16-24 year old. Defining the dual relationship in this setting is crucial for myself and all staff who work for this training program. I am considering offering to do a staff training on dual relationships. Thank you.
Erin C.