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Forensic Nursing

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What is Forensic Nursing?

Forensic Nursing is one of the newest specialty areas recognized by the
American Nurses Association. It involves working with law enforcement officials
to aid in the investigation of crimes such as abuse, accidental death and
assault.

They also collect evidence from the survivors of the violent crime as well as
the suspect so a case can be can be made and justice can be served.

Since crimes happen almost everyday even when the suspect is already in prison,
forensic nursing requires a lot of manpower. Just to give you an idea, there is
a Correctional Nursing Specialist, Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist, Forensic
Gerontology Specialist, Forensic Nurse Investigator, Forensic Psychiatric Nurse,
Legal Nurse Consultant, Nurse Coroner/Death Investigator and Sexual Assault
Nurse Examiner.

The largest subspecialty of forensic nursing is sexual assault, closely
followed by death investigation, forensic psychiatric nursing and medical-legal
consulting.

When sexual assault or rape occurs, it is the job of the forensic nurse to
collect evidence and take pictures so whoever is responsible can be caught.
This is done by cross referencing the DNA sample into the criminal database
system assuming that the one who did it has a criminal record. If the victim
knows who did it, a DNA sample can be collected from the suspect and if it is
match, then an arrest is made.

In terms of death investigation, the forensic nurse assists the pathologist in
determining the cause of death of a victim. In some areas, this person is
already the coroner.

Forensic psychiatric nursing is all about giving a convict or a suspect a
psychiatric evaluation. This will determine if he or she is fit for trial.
Inmates who have been released who have been pardoned and released from 
prison may also have to do the same test so they can find work.

In order for you to become a forensic nurse, you have to enroll in a program
offered by a university which focuses on the criminal justice system, forensic
mental health, interpersonal violence, perpetrator theory and victimology.
You will also need practice experience under the auspices of a trained forensic
doctor or nurse. Since there are improvements in forensic science, you must also
enroll in continuing education courses. If you want to move forward in your
career, take a formal graduate study program so you have a master's degree.

Once you have your degree, you can already apply for work without having the
need to get a certificate which is required in other nursing professions.

Can you shift to forensic nursing after working for some time as a registered
nurse? The answer is yes. You should just pass the exam that is given by the
International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Aside from helping law enforcement officials solve a crime or help a victim,
forensic nursing is also useful in other fields. These include tissue and organ
donation, pediatrics and in a correctional institution.

In tissue and organ donation, the forensic nurse will talk to the family of the
potential donor. When they agree, he or she will fill up the legal paperwork so
everything is properly documented.

In pediatrics, forensic nurses are present to assist and give comfort who have
been victims of abuse and neglect.

Forensic nurses who work in correctional facilities are there to perform health
screenings, educate inmates on various health related topics, manage acute
illness and injuries, dispense medication and provide acute and chronic
assessments.

There is a lot you can do as a forensic nurse. You just have to see what
opportunities suit you most then go for it.

A Brief Take on Forensic Nursing

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.

Do Forensic Nurses Have to Take The Certification Exam To Help Victims of
Sexual Assault?

A lot of people think that after taking the required courses, the only thing
stopping you from becoming a forensic nurse is the certification exam. Those
who have taken it say that the exam itself is very challenging but did you know
that you are not required to take it?

This is because you don't need to have a license to work as a forensic nurse.
The important thing is that you have your diploma. If you want to work in a
specialized field, there are advanced classes you can take, which also means a
higher position.

But why do some people still take it? This is because passing it adds
credibility to what you do especially if you have to give testimony during a
civil or criminal proceeding. The test consists of 5 parts namely dynamics of
sexual assault, evaluation of the sexual assault patient, participation in the
judicial process and professional practice/roles/issues.

If you don't pass, the testing authorities will send you a breakdown of your
scores in each of these categories so you will see where you didn't perform
very well. With this information, it will be easy for you to pass on the second
try.

What you might find strange about the certification exam is that there is no
passing or failing mark. You final grade depends on the scores of everyone who
took the test. This means that there is a curve so if you scored 95 and more
people scored lower, you are one of those who passed the exam with flying
colors. However, if others did better, you could fail and that means taking the
exam again.

On average, you have to get 75% of the questions correctly to be sure that you
passed the exam so study hard.

But how do you review for the forensic nursing exam? You can enrol in a review
program or do this by yourself. The important thing is to be able to answer
almost any question they throw at you.

Passing the exam simply adds credibility to who you are. Since science has
found new ways to help victims of violent crimes, you must keep up with the
times by attending seminars and other courses whenever they are offered.

In fact, the American Nurses' Association offers this and other benefits to its
members. All you have to do is sign up.

Being a member, you become one of 2.9 million registered nurses working in its
54 constituent member associations.

The certification exam mentioned is only for those who want to become a sexual
assault nurse examiner.

Given that forensic nursing is quite broad, you can explore other options. You
could work as a specialist involved in tissue and organ donation, paediatrics,
pathology, victimology or psychiatry.

Some forensic nurses shift from one field to another after working there for a
few years so they don't become stagnant in one specialty. All this experience
could even land you a consultancy job later or even your own private practice.

The vast majority of forensic nurses today are involved in sexual assault.
Should you take the certification exam? That is up to you but it wouldn't hurt
to be certified because it adds to your credibility when you are doing your
share in bringing the suspect to justice.

Forensic Nursing Certifications Can Qualify Registered Nurses

Registered nurses who have been practicing health care for years now have the
option to shift their careers if they want to. New graduates of the nursing
course can check if they can divert from clinical nursing to a seemingly more
challenging career in forensics. Nursing practitioners or even physicians, can
obtain forensic nursing certifications if they want to shift their careers or
they just want to upgrade their skills.

The primary role of hospital nurses is in care giving. A forensic nurse can be
a clinical nurse, who has great observation skills, can recognize and identify
evidences, collect them and document them properly for use in convicting
perpetrators of crime. This clinical nurse must of course, go through training
and certification first before she can begin practicing professionally.

A professional certification is a document that recognizes an individual's
experience and knowledge in a certain field, profession or specialty. There are
a lot of acronyms that refer to courses related to forensic nursing. There may
be differences in the way they're called but the curriculum is similar in all
types. These training programs are:

* Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner -- SAFE

* Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner -- SANE

* Forensic Nurse Examiner -- FNE

* Sexual Assault Nurse Clinician -- SANC

* Sexual Assault Examiner -- SAE

All these training programs include curricula, which give focus on:

- Victimology

- Perpetrator Theory

- Forensic Mental/Psychiatric Health

- Interpersonal Violence (same sex or otherwise)

- Criminology

- Criminal Justice

Those who undergo any of the training programs have classroom hours and hands-on
hours that are supervised by trained forensic doctors and nurses. The following
are the most recognized methods on how one can acquire forensic nurse education
or training:

1. Via certification programs provided by universities that offer forensic
nursing aside from traditionally structured courses that lead to a nursing
degree

2. Via continuing education programs that professional nurses undergo for
renewal of their licenses.

3. Via undergraduate or graduate nursing courses or elective subjects on
forensic nursing that are often offered as part of a certification program

4. Via Masters of Science with a degree in Nursing, which also offers special
subjects on collecting evidence, forensic law and science, etc. These programs
also offer internship in forensic crime laboratories, medical examiners'
offices, shelters for crime victims, and the forensic psychiatry units of
hospitals,

The International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN), which was formed in
the early 1990s as a result of a convention attended by 70 sexual assault
nurses, has developed a certification program for all sexual assault nurse
examiners. SANE-A Certification is a professional certification for sexual
assault nurse examiners of adults and adolescents. SANE-P is intended for
examiners of pediatric and adolescent patients.

The SANE is considered the stepping-stone to forensic nursing. The IAFN
requires the trainees to be registered nurses. They are subject to 40
instructional hours and another 40 hours for on-the-job duties. During the
training, the nurses' skills are honed in collecting various evidences like
hair strands, fibers, and fluids for DNA testing.

Although forensic nurses are more into sexual assault cases, they are still
helpful in other cases like domestic violence and various types of abuse
(verbal, physical, emotional, psychological).

Many forensic nurses can be seen in emergency rooms of hospitals so they can be
on the lookout for shooting or stabbing cases. They gather the bullets and other
possible evidences in the form of debris or fluid that can shed some light in
the cause of the crime. Only a nurse that has undergone forensic nursing
certifications can properly handle all these tasks.

Forensic Nursing Careers

Forensic nursing is fairly new in the industry given that this was only
recognized as a specialty of nursing in 1995. Unlike other nursing professions
where you have to take a state licensure exam, you are not required to get a
job. However, many believe that passing the test adds credibility to the job.

This is very important especially when you have collect evidence from a victim
and have to offer this testimony in court. Everything you say should be
objective because the evidence presents the facts themselves.

For you to become a forensic nurse, you must have at least be a resident nurse
and complete the training regimen. This includes specialized training in the
classroom as well as 40 hours of didactics and 40 hours of clinical work.

For those who want to specialize to become a SANE or sexual assault nurse
examiner, part of the training focuses on handling and collecting evidence like
fibers, hairs and fluids which are collected for DNA testing. You will also need
to learn how to use the equipment. It can be very basic like a digital camera to
an Omnichrome or a colposcope which can detect bruising underneath the skin's
surface.

When a victim is brought in to the emergency room, you spring into action and
then talk to the person. Working with law enforcement officers, you will be
able to comfort the victim, get details and then get the person who did it.
This normally takes 3 to 4 hours.

Another forensic nursing career could be that of a nursing forensic examiner.
This job will also involve collecting evidence but most of those brought in are
victims of interpersonal abuse. This includes child or elder abuse, domestic
violence, near fatal to fatal traumas, shootings and stabbings.

In cases of stabbing and shootings, the most important thing to get is the
bullet and any other items that are left on the victim. They will also remove
the clothing so this can be examined by preserving this in a special wrapping
before transporting this to the lab.

Should the victim die, then the forensic nurse examiner will work with the
medical examiner by answering questions about what he or she saw before this
person died.

If you want to go into private practice, one subspecialty is that of forensic
psychiatry. Here, you don't have to collect evidence but you have to evaluate
the mental capacity of the person to see if she or she is fit to stand trial in
a jury of their peers.

Since you evaluated that person, you may be called in as an expert witness in
both criminal and civil proceedings. For this, you need to complete a basic
certification course.

Forensic nursing has a lot of potential given that it is something new.
Statistics show that there will be a demand for more trained professionals in
the next 10 years and with that goes to the wages. This means you are sure to
find a job in a community health center, hospital, public health department,
law firms and correctional facilities.

But is a forensic nursing career all about money? Certainly not because as a
healthcare professional and from a legal perspective, you are able to help not
only the victims but also their families coping with what happened especially
when what you do helps catch whoever is responsible for it.




Salary Range For Forensic Nursing

Should you go into forensic nursing? If you do, one question you have to ask
yourself is how much you will make if you decide to make a career out of it.
Fortunately, the job outlook is very promising because the Bureau of Labor and
Statistics believe it will go up in the next 10 years.

But how much does a forensic nurse make now? Most professionals right now earn
about $26 to $100 per hour which is roughly $54k to $208k a year. You have to
remember that this depends on your skill; speciality, tenure, location and
experience so don't expect to earn a lot when you are just starting out.

Most forensic nurses do not work inside the hospital because they are called to
a scene. If the victim is brought to the hospital for an examination, that
person will get $1 to $4 dollars an hour. If you get lucky, you could get $150
to $400 depending on what was agreed upon.

But money should not be the prime factor in deciding whether or not to pursue a
career in this field. Just like nurses who work in the hospital, you have to
enjoy helping people. Instead of helping patients, most of the time, you are
helping victims.

Many who work in forensic nursing are involved in helping victims of sexual
assault. This is done by conducting an evidentiary exam so anything collected
will make it easier for the police to arrest the person responsible. One of the
wonders we have today is the use of DNA so if there is a match, there is no
doubt that the police have the right person in custody.

Some forensic nurses work in the field of pathology by helping the medical
examiner determine the cause of death. This means opening up the victim and
then providing the investigating team clues so the killer can be arrested.

But solving crimes is not the only thing that a forensic nurse does. They also
give psychiatric evaluations to see if the person is fit to stand trial or to
help convicts who are released from prison to find a decent job. After all, it
is not easy to find employment when you have spent some time in the joint.

You may also find a permanent in the hospital by processing tissue and organ
donation by talking to the family of the terminally ill patient then asking if
they are willing to do so. While some will not agree to this, there are those
who are willing so part of your job is to make sure that the paperwork has been
filled up correctly.

Forensic nursing is a new field that was only established in early 1990's.
Although the program is similar to that of the regular nurse, what makes you
different is that you will also be focusing on the criminal
justice system, forensic mental health, interpersonal violence, perpetrator
theory and victimology.

The salary range of forensic nurses is very broad. You can work for the local
authorities or establish your own private practice. What is important is that
you like what you are doing so the first thing you have to do is go to school
and earn that degree. One last hurdle you will have to face is the exam.

Online Forensic Nursing Programs

Forensic nursing just like traditional nursing has a lot of specialty areas. As
a result, a forensic nurse may find work as a sexual assault nurse examiner,
crime scene and death investigator, correctional nurse and psychiatric nurse.

Aside from courses offered in school, there are also online programs where you
can enroll in. The best part about an online program is that you don't have to
be there when the class is in regular session since you watch the lecture some
other time similar to what Tivo does as it records a show at a certain time so
you can view this on your own convenience.

You will also be able to communicate with your instructor and classmates using
email, instant messenger and in chat rooms.

Once you enroll in an online program, the school will provide you with special
software so you can simulate your classroom and work on quizzes and projects.

The online program introduces students to the forensic aspects of health care
and public service. Some of the other things which will be explored include
acts of violence, human abuse, collecting and preserving evidence,
documentation and follow up procedures as performed by a health care provider,
mass casualty incidents, sexual assault and trauma.

If you want to go deeper and specialize in a certain field, some of the modules
you can take may be clinical forensic nursing, correctional nursing, death
investigation, forensic photography and forensic psychiatry.

One thing these models have in common is that it will explore victimology and
how it relates to the changing trends of violence in society.

Most of those that will be doing the lectures are nationally recognized experts
in their own field. With the number of people helping out, you will be able to
build network and gain access to community resources for additional learning
opportunities.

How much you know about the subject matter will be tested and graded. If you
pass, the only thing you need to do now is pass the board exam so you can
already find work.

Whichever medium you use, you should be able to;

1. Identify and properly collect forensic evidence within the health care
setting to ensure that it will withstand legal scrutiny.

2. Communicate with the various members of the multi-disciplinary forensic team
including victim advocates, law enforcement, and the judicial process in general.

3. Determine treatment for triage and emergency intervention for patients who
exhibit potential forensic implications.

4. Identify basic policies and procedures required for conducting sexual
assault examinations for child and adult women and men.

5. Analyze the social and political implications of escalating violence as it
relates to law enforcement, criminal justice and domestic living.

A forensic nursing program will be easy to shift to if you are already a
registered nurse or a licensed medical professional. But this should stop those
who just graduated out of college because everyone has to start somewhere in
order to become successful in their career.

The only thing to do now is decide what kind of forensic nursing program you
want to enroll in so do some research. Better yet, try to get in touch with
students who are currently in the program so you will know what it is like
which will help prepare you for the challenges ahead.

Urgency Amid Violence: What Forensic Nursing History Is Telling Us

Since forensic nursing is a fairly new field in nursing care, not too many
people are aware yet of their roles. So many of these medical-legal
professionals are already in the field helping victims of crimes by becoming
instruments in putting the criminals behind bars. But how did this forensic
practice start? Here's a quick view of forensic nursing history.

Caregivers or health providers have been around for a long time now and many
have already practiced forensic-type of services even before forensic nursing
was recognized. In fact, during the 13th century, there were nurses who played
the role of forensic practitioners as they examine the young women arranged to
marry royalty.

These women were required to be virgins before they can proceed with the
marriage. The nurses of that time were the ones who confirmed the women's
virginity to the monarchs. Nurses have also already worked with sexual assault
and abuse cases during this period.

Prior to forensic nursing, sexual assault nurses were the key people who
handled rape or sexual abuse cases. Most law enforcement agencies in the
country have a team of these sexual assault professionals who arrive at the
crime scene to gather all physical evidences that can affect prosecution later
on.

These medical practitioners were tasked to handle these cases and not the crime
scene investigators, medical examiners or forensic analysts. Homicide cases go
to the police department's CSIs but sexual assault cases are special.

The sexual assault response team model was initiated in California. Members of
this team include the victim advocate, an officer of the police department, and
a sexual assault examiner. This team works together in making a full and
comprehensive investigation of the crime.

The victim advocate provides counseling to the victim and preps her for the
long process ahead. The police take charge of the investigation of facts. The
examiner gathers the evidence, documents them properly, and assesses them.

Medical professionals like nurses, counselors, and advocates who worked with
rape victims in various hospitals and clinics first established a training
program for sexual assault examiners in Memphis, Tennessee in 1976. Another
program was launched in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1977. These were necessary to
improve the services so that sensitive cases like rape can be handled properly.

Many people during that time felt that the law enforcement couldn't handle such
cases efficiently. They were too insensitive on their approaches and most of the
time, they dismissed claims of rape due to a lot of misconceptions, bias, or
pure lack of knowledge and understanding on the matter.

It was in 1992 when the term forensic nursing was coined. About 70 sexual
assault nurses and examiners gathered in Minneapolis that time to convene about
their roles and how they can promote this service better as an organization.
Shortly after, they formed the International Association of Forensic Nurses
(IAFN), which now serves as the central unit to develop and promote forensic
nursing nationwide and internationally. Come 1995, forensic nursing became an
official specialization in the nursing practice when the American Nurses
Association (ANA) recognized it.

The government began to take notice and state legislators are now considering
to pass a bill that requires hospitals to employ forensic nurses, who will care
for sexual assault victims as well as victims of other crimes. There are a
number of hospitals in the state of Connecticut that have certified sexual
assault nurse examiners. This is considered as the entry point to forensic
nursing.

In a short period of time, forensic nursing history tells us that their
usefulness in the society should be recognized especially now that the world is
becoming more and more exposed to acts of delinquency.

Forensic Nursing Journals for Practitioners: The Ultimate Guidebook for
Practitioners

Forensic nursing is a continuously developing and growing branch of nursing and
health care. It could be considered a branch of the judicial system as well
since it tackles evidence collection, which is critical to specific criminal
cases. Associations that help forensic nurses like the American Nurses
Association (ANA) and the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN)
help promote the practice and assist their members through the publication of
forensic nursing journals.

There is one official journal of the IAFN, which it calls Journal of Forensic
Nursing. This comes out on a quarterly basis and is distributed among the
members of the association.

The main goal of this journal is to help in the advancement of the science of
forensic nursing by sharing information about so many cases related to
forensics that have been handled by experienced forensic professionals. This
journal includes manuscripts that serve as a rich source of knowledge for
beginners or even those who have already started their careers.

These manuscripts are submitted by the members and extensively reviewed by the
board before they get published. This is to make sure that the information will
truly benefit the members who will read them and refer to them when they need
to. The requirement for a manuscript to see publication is for it to be
original and has never been published yet.

There are also certain guidelines to follow for those who wish to have their
work included in the journal. All the details including the photographs,
tables, and references should strictly conform to the standards set by the
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Forensic nursing, which has gained momentum in 1992, is the practice of
applying nursing science to legal proceedings. Forensic nurses provide health
care services directly to patients who are victims of violent crimes. They also
assist people in treating trauma and in handling death, or abuse of any kind.

Forensic nurses deal with the following cases:

* Domestic violence

* Sexual assault

* Abuse or neglect of child or elderly

* Psychological abuse

* Human trafficking

* Occult- or religious-related violence

* Forensic mental or psychiatric health

* Nursing in correctional establishments

* Legal nurse consultations

* Automobile or pedestrian accidents

* Suicide attempt

* Work-related injuries

* Disasters

* Administration of patient care

* Service accidents/injuries

* Check for environmental hazards

* Detect drug or alcohol abuse

* Check illegal abortion

* Tissue and organ donations or charity

* Homicide cases

* Suicide

* Cases

* Suspicious deaths

IAFN and their plans

Since IAFN is an international organization, members to this association are
scattered around the world. The organization doesn't only include forensic
nurses as members, but also other professionals who provide support and
complement the work of the forensic nurses.

The organization has initiated the journals to reach its goal of disseminating
information about the science and its growing number of practitioners. As the
leader in the development of forensic nursing, the IAFN holds the following
goals close to their principles:

* Try to prevent violence as much as possible by helping solve crimes faster

* Make improvements on the current standards in terms of evidence collection
  and forensic nursing practice per se

* Promote sharing of information within the professional circle to help each
  other grown in the practice

* Establish ethics in the practice of forensic nursing

* Educate the up and coming forensic nurses

These goals are all aligned in the forensic nursing journals that are being
published to develop forensic nursing in the United States as well as in other
countries around the world.

Forensic Nursing Associations Serve as Catalysts for Forensic Nursing

Nurses as we know, assist patients and doctors in the field of health care and
care giving. As the world becomes more and more exposed to crimes, the role of
the nurse evolved. A new branch of nursing has grown and this is a profession,
which covers medical care and judicial or legal assistance at the same time.
These new breed of professionals convene in what is called a forensic nursing
association.

Forensic nurses practice this newest form of forensic science where they gather
evidences related to a crime that may have been committed on a patient. The
forensic information they gather can be used during trials, which may also call
them as professional witnesses.

Forensic nursing is primarily geared towards helping victims of violence by
producing the evidences that will help solve the crime. The traditional way to
investigate on a patient is to have several people approach and ask questions.
These are the social workers, doctors, police, FBI agent, etc. The victim, who
may still be traumatized, will only feel worst since the recaps of the crime
will have to be repeated over and over again. This can be addressed by having
just one person do everything from beginning to end of the investigation.
Beginning being, evidence gathering and end being, court trials and possible
justice for the victim. The forensic nurse can be all these.

Forensic nurses take charge of cases of abuse and violent crimes and
oftentimes, these nurses find their work truly enjoyable and very much
rewarding. Owe it to the popularity of related TV programs on cable, or owe it
to the increasing crime rate, more and more clinic nurses who feel they could
qualify, are enrolling in certification programs.

The American Nurses Association recognizes this new field that is fast becoming
popular. Nurses who just graduated as well as the really experienced Registered
Nurses can consider this as their career path.

Many experts see the demand for the forensic nurses to grow and grow. This
should be a cause for alarm since the growth of these special nurses mean there
is increasing crime rate in the country but that's practically why the field got
conceptualized.

Organizations like the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) have
been created to lead this budding group of forensics professionals. Associations
like the IAFN provide services to help develop the field. They implement
programs that promote the science, and disseminate necessary information about
the new practice.

Members of these organizations are registered nurses that are into forensic
nursing activities like:

* Scientific investigation of a evidences gathered

* Providing treatment to patients who are traumatized

* Handling interpersonal violence cases like sexual assault, abuses of all
kinds, and domestic violence

* Investigation of death

* Managing forensic psychiatric cases

* Correctional nursing in prisons or rehabilitation centers

Most forensic nurses have major roles in the following venues: special hospital
units, offices of the medical examiners or coroners, law enforcement agencies,
social service units of the government, and other related institutions. This
new field has indeed opened more doors for all nurses worldwide.

A forensic nursing association plays a big role in the development of this very
significant aspect of forensics, judicial, and medical systems in the society.
These groups could be the best media to assist in the fight against violence
and crimes.






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