Forensic nursing a fast-growing field

  1. Terri Stewart knows how to collect displaced hairs and photograph and measure wounds on women who have been raped. When interviewing the victims, she remains objective, avoids yes-or-no questions and writes down plenty of direct quotes because her notes may be used in court.



    Stewart isn't a police officer, and she's not a lawyer. She's a forensic nurse. Forensic nurses-who now make up one of the fastest-growing specialties in nursing-care for patients embroiled in legal investigations into violent crimes, including abuse or sexual assault.

    Full Article: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm..._nurse05m.html
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   RN92
    I did home health for 9 yrs. I saw case after case of elderly abuse and neglect. I had no problem calling DHS. The problem is that there isnt any place to put these pts. Nursing homes have a waiting list. The social workers would interview the pt and family - but if the pt wanted to stay there - then DHS wouldnt do anything. Not too many elderly pts are going to want to leave their home - no matter how bad they are being neglected. I can see where Forensic Nursing could be Very frustrating and dangerous. The nurse will be testifying against criminals. I would always be looking over my shoulder. :uhoh21:
  4. by   obeyacts2
    Quote from ERslave
    I did home health for 9 yrs. I saw case after case of elderly abuse and neglect. I had no problem calling DHS. The problem is that there isnt any place to put these pts. Nursing homes have a waiting list. The social workers would interview the pt and family - but if the pt wanted to stay there - then DHS wouldnt do anything. Not too many elderly pts are going to want to leave their home - no matter how bad they are being neglected. I can see where Forensic Nursing could be Very frustrating and dangerous. The nurse will be testifying against criminals. I would always be looking over my shoulder. :uhoh21:
    Ditto!! The elder abuse protection system (APS in CA) is broken. Early in my caregiving (home health CNA) career I actually had a woman belt her 85+ yr old mother right in front of me. I followed all the reporting procedures and was interviewed by the police, filed APS report, etc. Nothing was done becuase the old lady wouldnt testify even though I was right there when it all happened!!! :angryfire
    What good does it do to have trained evdence gathering nurses in cases like this if the system will not follow thru? I did look over my shoulder with this family becuase the loving daughter called my agency and said I was a liar and made all sorts of lovely accusations to my employer. Thankfully, they had my back, so to speak.

    Laura

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