When Injuries Speak, Who Will Listen?


Any good forensic nurse learns very quickly to interpret what injuries are telling them. What those injuries actually say may answer some truly horrible questions. The rapidly-growing field of forensic nursing is routinely involved with cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse and other traumatic violence. At the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Daniel Sheridan, RN, PhD, is the architect of a new master’s specialty in forensic nursing aimed at preparing a new generation of leaders in the rapidly evolving field. “The forensic nurse needs to have a little bit of detective in him, to be able to do some deductive reasoning, and to be able to put all the pieces together in order to solve the puzzle.” Forensic nursing students can expect to take a variety of classes ranging from Ethics of Health Care to Family Violence. Forensics is sometimes a collision between law and medicine. Although the medical, legal and social authorities are working together, everyone’s focused on their own priorities. Nurses are in an ideal position to bridge these worlds; “it’s easier to train a nurse in the principles of evidence collection, preservation and crime scene analysis than it is to train cops in health care principles. Labrecque, J. (2003). When injuries speak who will listen? John Hopkins Nursing, Vol. 1, No. 1

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