Occupation and Education

The amount of articles on forensic nursing are quite numerous. They have become more numerous and more in depth in the last 20 years. They range from forensic nurses that work with juveniles in Australia, to Assault Victims (rapes), to gang violence. The scope is as wide as the human capacity for violence. Education opportunities abound. These opportunities range from simple certifications to masters programs to doctorate programs. In addition, there are quite a lot of support groups, associations and other groups that advocate the training of nurses in forensic science. Given the order that patients are treated in emergency departments, it only makes sense that nurses be educated in forensic medicine. Cyril Wecht, MD, JD former president of the American College of Legal Medicine, stated, “it’s a great shame and is a source of much puzzlement why a group similar to police surgeons hasn’t developed here.” The first person that meets people on admission to the hospital is a nurse. The amount of care provided by the nurse presents multiple opportunities to collect evidence or destroy it. Training staff to follow standard protocols maintains the integrity of evidence gathered. As technology advances and provides increasing means of gathering evidence training will advance and education opportunities will also advance. Hindsight does make training emergency room staff in living forensics seem only common sense.

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