‘Tis the season to be jolly and for gift giving. However, it is likely that you may also be offered gifts from your clients and their families at this time of year. It is timely to look at what is considered professionally appropriate for accepting gifts.

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A good place to look for direction is in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia – Professional standards. The Code of Professional Conduct and the Midwives’ guide to professional boundaries provide guidance on this topic. Both focus on the possible influence that accepting gifts may have on the professional relationship.

The reality is that people wish to express their appreciation for care by providing an acknowledgement in the form of a gift or benefit. The following guidelines should be considered in these circumstances:

  • You may accept token or inexpensive gifts offered as a gesture of appreciation
  • Do not accept gifts that are more than a token
  • Do not accept gifts of cash
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that neither you nor your immediate family members accept gifts or benefits that an impartial observer could view as a means of securing an influence or favour.

Put simply, a posy of flowers or a box chocolates can be happily accepted. As usual, if you are concerned about the appropriateness of other gifts, don’t hesitate to speak to your colleagues or call us at MIGA to discuss.

Other resources

  1. Professional standards

    Review the Nursing & Midwifery Boards Professional standards

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