Published Jan 19, 2008
Should y comfirm child abuse with other nurses before reporting it?
You need to familiarize yourself with the law in your state of practice. Most states require licensed healthcare professionals to report suspected child abuse they encounter in the course of their professional duties.
I'm not sure how you expect to "confirm" child abuse by consulting with your fellow nursing staff. Most cases involve a thorough investigation by social services in order to determine whether or not a child has been abused. I don't think that is something you can accomplish on your own.
I would not utilize the word confirm, but would use collaborate. It takes time to have an eye for abuse, especially if it is not evident by markings on the body and behavior (especially in a busy setting). Some textbooks have pictures and describe what it may look like; for example burns on the back rather than the abdomen (many children spill things on themselves), marks that look like hangers, irons, bruises in various stages of healing, a child that is fearful of adults, or seems afraid to speak when the abuser is present, spiral fractures and such. It is necessary to form a team approach, to give support to the sufferer and even the abuser (which would be very hard for me).
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