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Traci Zema

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  1. Traci Zema

    But, she was fine this morning!

    As an RN Medical Examiner, this child was under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiners Office. A request for the family to view the child, should have been cleared by that authority. I always try to make it a practice to respond to the hospital in the event of a child’s death. I work with the responding detective and charge RN when allowing family to visit. That decision depends on the scene and initial investigation. I do my best to allow appropriate visitation before I remove the child from the hospital. Always check with Medical Examiner before allowing visitation if it’s the ME’s case. That way if the ME says no, you can direct the family to the Medical Examiner. Respectfully, Traci
  2. Traci Zema

    I’m Interested in Being a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Part 1

    Many sexual assault nurse examiner programs are an on-call programs where nurses still work on their units full time then pick up extra shifts for SANE. In North Carolina, physicians, PAs, NPs, RNs, and EMT/paramedics can be appointed as medical examiners. I was fortunate to have a friend who is now retired that introduced me to the medical examiner world. Regardless of what Forensic Nursing pathway you take, there is always a chance that you will be interacting law enforcement and the court system. It’s part of the work. Warmly, Traci
  3. Traci Zema

    I’m Interested in Being a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Part 1

    I do want to say a thank you for bringing this topic up and interviewing a SANE for it. We have a serious shortage of forensic nurses and hospitals with forensic nurses in this country. SANE training includes some emotional support techniques as well as education in trauma informed care. I also have previous RN experience in psych so I bring that to the table for my patients and colleagues. I’m open to any more questions that you may have. Traci
  4. Traci Zema

    I’m Interested in Being a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner – Part 1

    I am a full time forensic nurse at my hospital. It is more than collecting evidence and testifying. As a nurse, I am providing trauma informed, comprehensive nursing care. Evidence collection is secondary to the medical and emotional needs of my patients. My job includes gathering patient history, event history, a head to toe exam including genitalia, photography, and assessment for emergency contraception, STI prophylaxis, HIV and other preventative care. I provide referrals for medical follow up and advocacy. I also make sure the patient has a safe place to stay. This is a hard job and a nurse has to take extra steps to manage stress and do self care. It’s not all swabs and CSI. I also work per diem in my community as a medical examiner. I work alongside law enforcement and forensic pathologists to make cause and manner of death determinations. This is also a hard job. Self care is a must as many forensic nurses leave these jobs after 2-3 years. Traci, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, ME
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