Finally in the news this week is a look at a story out of U.S. News and World Report on how forensic nurses can help assault survivors by their expertise, evidence collection and expert testimony in court. According to the article, the way a survivor is able to cope with their attacks starts with how they’re dealt with by law-enforcement. Then it hinges upon their care by nurses experienced in collecting evidence and pertinent history while providing care for the patient at the same time.

Helping Victims of Crime Deal With Trauma

depression nurse patientWhen the nurse victims deal with is trained to help them prepare for the post traumatic stress and deal with them compassionately while clinically approaching the evidence collection, the patient survivor is better able to do difficult things like testify in court later on. Some places require ER nurses to have some forensic training. In fact Texas passed a law recently requiring all emergency department nurses to get two hours of specialized training in basic evidence collection. Experts say that’s a start but it’s often not enough.

There is a recommendation in some systems that there be a trained forensic nurse either on duty or on call to come in and help deal with these special patients. Trisha Sheridan, an educator from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Nursing and trained forensic nurse thinks that there should be a graduate level program to create specially trained advanced practice nurses at the masters or doctoral level to help fill the void.

If you’re interested in this nursing specialty, you should check out the entire article which goes into a lot of detail in the type of examination and evidence collection that goes on in this nursing specialty. You’ll find the link in this week’s show notes over at Head over their and follow the link to check it out for yourself.

Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Research All Nurses Should Follow and Episode 308.



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