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Featured Article – What is Forensic Nursing? : Filipino Nurses News – Latest & Hottest News about Pinoy Nurses Worldwide

Featured Article – What is Forensic Nursing?

· Filed Under Featured Articles 

What Is Forensic Nursing?

Forensic nursing is a relatively new field of nursing. Forensic nurses may work directly with people who have been the victim of sexual assault, or they may work with attorneys, as legal consultants. Before specializing in forensic nursing, most nurses spend time working in the clinical setting. It is important to have a wide body of experience before taking on the responsibilities of forensic nursing.

Many enter the field of forensic nursing thinking that the job will be less stressful than the understaffed hospital setting that they are accustomed to. While it is true that the forensic nurse typically works one on one with their client, the stress is different, but not necessarily less, than the stress felt working in a hospital environment.

There are a variety of specialties within the field of forensic nursing. A forensic nurse can specialize as a Forensic Nurse Specialist, a Forensic Nurse Investigator, An Nurse Coroner, A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, a Legal Nurse Consultant, a Forensic Gerontology Specialist, a Forensic Psychiatric Nurse or a Correctional Nursing Specialist. Each of these specialties requires specialized skills and specialized training over top of the licensing requirements to become a registered nurse.

What type of training do forensic nurses receive?

Forensic nurses receive intensive training in their desired field. The training consists of a combination of academic classes and presentations. Each field required different skills, and the training can be very specialized. To understand the types of classes that may be required for each specialty, it helps to understand what each specialty does.

A sexual assault nurse examiner has a multi faceted job. This nurse treats victims of sexual assault. They are called in, most often to the Emergency Room, when a victim of sexual assault is admitted. They are trained to gently interview the patient, conduct a complete physical, including a pelvic exam, and identify and collect any evidence. It is particularly important that the sexual assault nurse examiner properly handle and label any evidence so that it can be admitted to court in a trial. While conducting these duties, the nurse works for the police department, collecting evidence. They also works for the victim by providing a support net for the patient, giving his or her advice on after care options, both physically and mentally. The nurse also refers her to any specialized services the he or she believes are beneficial.

A forensic nurse investigator is also a forensic nurse, but receives a different type of training entirely. The responsibility of the forensic nurse investigator is to respond to the location of the deceased body. They work closely with detectives, examine the body, and collect blood and tissue samples. They also photograph the crime scene including the deceased body. The forensic nurse investigator must keep careful records and document all of the evidence, as it is often not until much later that the importance of each detail becomes apparent.

A legal nurse consultant, another sub specialty within the field of forensic nursing, is typically an office job. The legal nurse consultant is often employed by a law firm or insurance company, and reviews medical records and notes irregularities for the attorney.

The correctional nursing specialist works with patients who are incarcerated. They perform a wide variety of duties, from administering daily medications, visiting sick prisoners, determining if a patient needs to seek outside care. A nurse who works in a correctional environment must be well rounded in order to properly treat the variety of patients seen on a daily basis.

There is a wide variety of choices available within the specialty field of forensic nursing, which require a great deal of specialized training. The decision to become a forensic nurse is an important one, because of the requirements and specialized nature of the training. It is important for the potential forensic nurse to understand the duties that they may be performing after completing their formal training. Working with sexual assault victims, homicide victims or the incarcerated population can be an incredibly demanding career choice. A forensic nurse is not locked into one specialty once their choice is made, but it is unlikely that a nurse would consider switching fields because of the high degree of specialty required in each field.

What is the outlook for nurses that enter the field?

Forensic nursing is one of the newest specialties recognized by the American Nurses Association. The stated goal of the Forensic Nurse is to apply the science of nursing to public or legal proceedings. They are trained specifically to recognize evidence, properly collect it and document it for future use.

Forensic nursing is a relatively new field, so employment opportunities are not as widespread as in other branches of nursing. For the person interested in the legal field, working as a consultant or working with abuse victims, forensic nursing is an excellent career path to chose.

Source: Parker



One Response to “Featured Article – What is Forensic Nursing?”

  1. Edgardo R. Bugayong Jr. on May 27th, 2011 11:43 am

    Is interested in the Forensic nursing. Are there training centers here in the Philippines? If yes, can you provide contact number?

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