Forensic Nursing and Neurological, Musculoskeletal and Head to Toe Assessments

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As we know, with forensic nursing most areas of nursing assessment will be performed and with detail.

Many times in an assault situation the need for a neurological assessment will be warranted. This could be due to injury or early post traumatic stress symptoms that lead to questions about the victim’s orientation and mental status. I would imagine this could be difficult to differentiate at first and the need for further and even extensive assessment into this area would need to be done.

Also due to injury from the assault a thorough musculoskeletal assessment will need to take place to rule out any sprains, strains or fractures.

A head to toes assessment will need to be completed before the client leaves the emergency room to be sure no areas of injury or problems are overlooked. Time will need to be taken to reassure the client that all the personal assessments need to be performed to determine presence and extent of any and all injuries related to the attack. Photographs may become necessary to document precisely the extent of injury, which could assist with client’s possible court case related to the assault.

All of this would be overwhelming for any client but especially a client who was recently a victim of a violent crime. Forensic nurses need to take the time to build a rapport with the client and display patience when clients are apprehensive about the assessment.

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