Crime scene investigators are the first people allowed to touch dead people’s body at the spot where they were first discovered. The lead CSI observes and from what he saw, he concludes foul play. That’s homicide TV for you there. As we see them geeks strut through the laboratory with all those gadgets to get evidence from the littlest of substances or debris we can’t help but admire them, and possibly daydream of being them. Forensic nursing is a little something like that. Read on for more on forensic nursing description.
Forensic nursing is a new specialty area in nursing practice that is fast gaining popularity even across nations. It is recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA). The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) is the group that helps promote and develop the field further.
Forensic nurses take charge of investigating the causes of mortality or death in so many settings. Their responsibilities include:
- Collection of evidence from the suspect and victim
- Testify in court using evidence gathered as a fact witness or as an expert witness
- Know how to properly handle evidence
- Conduct forensic photography
- Serve as bridge between health care and legal systems
A forensic nurse should be skillful in making observations, documentations, and preservation of all evidences, which can help solve a criminal case. Forensic nursing is a broad science that covers sub-specialties like sexual assault, death investigation, psychiatric care, and medical-legal consultations. Here are the various types of forensic nurses:
- Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist
- Forensic Nurse Investigator
- Nurse Coroner or Death Investigator
- Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Forensic Gerontology Specialist
- Forensic Psychiatric Nurse
- Correctional Nursing Specialist
Crime-related situations have time and again proven the importance of forensic nursing. Owing to the skills of the forensic nurse to provide health care, they are most especially needed in establishing the concrete foundation to a more stable and effective justice and legal system.
Training programs related to forensic examination of a victim were already available to qualified medical personnel as early as 1976. Health care professionals, both physicians and licensed nurses who underwent training spent 40 hours in the classroom learning the theories and concepts. Their training also exposed them to hands-on clinical practices that make them experience the actual applications of what they learned in the classroom.
The pilot training programs were more inclined towards care for sexual assault victims. As years went by these early programs were developed further and has branched out to several courses like SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner), SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner), FNE (Forensic Nurse Examiner), SANC (Sexual Assault Nurse Clinician), and the latest SAE (Sexual Assault Examiner). These are different acronyms but in general, they teach the same curricula.
Violence is the usual root of all forensic nursing cases. This presents itself in various forms like verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, animal cruelty, destruction of property, sexual assault or rape, homicide, and so many more. There is no specific victim profile since anybody can be one. There are kids aged 2 who become victims. The same age group of kids can also manifest signs of violent behavior. In a crime, victims can become the perpetrators too.
Forensic nursing description can’t be summarized in a few sentences or paragraphs, but still, it would be helpful to know even these basic things that were cited here.