Posts Tagged ‘Forensic Nursing Health Assessment’

President Obama is 50 years old this month, comment

August 12, 2011

From the Forensic Nursing perspective, safety should be included in your list. Safety would address

  1. Seat belts
  2. Boating life jackets
  3. Bullet-proof vests (especially for our president in dangerous situations)
  4. Lighting for seeing clearly
  5. Emergency contact information close at hand
Original Post

President Obama is 50 years old this month

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Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

December 8, 2010

Assessing patients with potential alcohol abuse for mental illness is difficult. Alcohol abuse can mimic a mental illness so it is important to assess carefully. In some cases with mental illness it is necessary to have a period of abstinence of use of alcohol in order to accurately assess the patient for a mental illness. As stated in the article a visual assessment of the patients ability to take care of themselves can be helpful in diagnosis. When there is a dual diagnoses of alcohol abuse and mental illness an accurate assessment will enable a holistic treatment of both the alcohol abuse and the mental illness.

Original Post
July 9, 2010
Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment
Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals. Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused. There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere. While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism. This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life. During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions. The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options. The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse. A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident. In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

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Screening for abuse, comment

July 20, 2010

Screening for abuse is a very important element of the nursing assessment.  While screening for abuse should be included in every nursing assessment abuse is seen more frequently within certain patient populations; such as the very young and the very old.  Those patients who are very young or very young are more vulnerable to abuse by their caretakers.  This screening can sometimes be difficult to perform.  There needs to be attention to detail during the interview for any inconsistencies with information given and findings during the assessment.

The nurse assessment of the skin and musculoskeletal systems hold great importance when screening for abuse.  It is during these advanced assessments there may be evidence of abuse may be found.  Any suspicious bruising, welts, or marks that are found should be taken into consideration when screening for abuse.

When a nurse is functioning in the field of forensics their assessments and screenings for abuse may be called into use during a proceeding in court; the nurse may have to testify to their assessment findings.  Forensic nurses will also have to rely on their experience in advanced assessment to accurately screen possible victims for abuse.

Forensic nurse or any other area of nursing this screening for abuse is a vital part of the nursing assessment.  A nurse is responsible for advocating for the patient to their best ability.  Especially in circumstances when the caretaker of the patient is overpowering and does not cooperate with the patient being assessed without them present.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Screening for abuse, comment

I think that all nurses and doctors should receive additional training in screening for abuse depending on their specialty area. Patients will present differently depending on whom they are being interviewed by. Many times in the situation of children they are with their abuser when they present and it is difficult to separate the two. The abuser does not want you to have words alone with their child. I worked many years as a school nurse and suspected many cases of abuse that were reported to the appropriate authorities only to find that the child was disbelieved and then years later found to be telling the truth. Adults are very savvy at making a child look like a liar but seldom do these children have the capabilities to make up the horrendous story I heard. Unfortunately the investigators seem to want to believe the abuser. These children were also ones with poor grades (not sleeping at night due to the abuse), behavioral issues (they just wanted someone to listen) and many times documented storytellers (the only way to get attention) so it was very easy for the abuser to discredit them. If we are all trained to look for something other than physical marks we may start to diminish abuse against our children. Part of the assessment should not include where the parents reside in society. Several times the investigators simply found out what the parents did for a living and that in itself ended the investigation.

Original Post:
September 8, 2009
Title: Screening for abuse
Thank you for this important message. It is absolutely imperative that ALL providers know the signs and symptoms of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Furthermore, it is absolutely necessary that ALL providers screen every patient at EVERY patient encounter for abuse. Providers should incorporate screening for abuse into their health assessment. It is very easy to do. Providers can accomplish this important task by 1. Printing the screening question on the pre-assessment paperwork, 2. Asking the patient during the assessment, “Do you feel safe at home?” 3. Knowing the s/sx and incorporating screening into every pt encounter. So very important.

Original Post
September 2, 2009
Title: Abuse
Child and elder abuse continue to be very under reported making it imperative that doctors and nurses have education on signs of abuse. Nursing home abuse is also very under reported since nursing home pts. are lacking in visitors and seen as demented. Nurses also need to know who to contact should abuse be suspected.

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Alcohol addiction is a disease, comment

July 9, 2010

Alcohol impacts the lives of many individuals.  Alcohol is a dangerous drug that is widely used and abused.  There is evidence everywhere in our society, advertisements, socials events, sporting events, alcohol is everywhere.  While there are many who can drink responsibly and not get to the point of alcohol being a problem in their life, there is a large percent of our population that has alcoholism.  This is a very difficult disease, since there is no cure, no medicine it is something a patient has to overcome this disease using willpower and other methods requiring mental strength.

The nurse’s assessment plays a role in identifying if alcohol or any other substance may be controlling and having a negative effect on a patient’s life.  During the assessment the nurse can identify alcohol dependence, abuse, or addictions.  The patient may not even realize they have an alcohol problem the nurse can not only assist the patient in identifying a problem they can provide education to assist the patient in finding and evaluating treatment options.  The nurse can also educate the patient during the assessment on how alcohol affects the body and mind short term and long term.

Advanced nursing assessment and forensic nursing may overlap on matters that may be related in some emergency situations caused from alcohol abuse.  A forensic nurse may be involved in the care of a patient in the ER from an alcohol related incident.  In this circumstance a forensic nurse would be required to utilize her advanced assessment skills to care for the patient as well as fulfill her role as a forensic nurse.

Original Post

September 28, 2009

Title: Alcohol addiction is a disease

Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused psychoactive drug in the United States. Of those seeking treatment 50% will relapse in the first few months of therapy. Everyone around these patients is effected by this disease. Nursing is on the forefront of the battle these individuals undertake. Alcohol use is broken down into two categories abuse and dependence. Alcohol abuse is characterized as a pattern of use leading to one or more manifestations in a period of a year such as a failure to fulfill major roles or obligations at work, school or home. Recurrent alcohol related legal problems or being in physically hazardous situations and continued use despite problems with relationships caused by or exacerbated by alcohol. Alcohol dependence is a pattern of three or more manifestations in a year such as having a tolerance to alcohol, showing signs of withdrawal, consuming larger amounts or over longer periods than had intended. Continued use of alcohol despite desire or failed attempts to cut down consumption. Drinking and recovering from use takes up more and more time. Continued use despite knowing it is doing damage physically or psychologically, as well as those listed above for abuse. Alcohol not only effects those who are abusing or dependent on the drug, but everyone around them. As a child I remember the late night phone call my mother received that her father, only 49 years old, had passed away after having too much to drink, vomited and aspirated his stomach contents. He was an abuser, a weekend social drinker whose life alcohol had very little impact on until that night, then it had the ultimate impact. A patient I took care of many years ago had a similar experience, he was a young man in his early 30’s, he too aspirated after vomiting, he survived this initially only to be left with damage to his brain from a lack of oxygen. He would live the rest of his life in a coma like state, with a grieving wife and child. Alcohol is a treatable disease, when a patient comes to a hospital or clinic, they have chosen to undertake the battle of their lives. They are not able to do this alone, the attitudes of family and nurses as well as others they may come into contact with are crucial. A compassionate nurse can change the life of a patient, as well as an unsympathetic nurse whose attitude may be “they did this to themselves.” Alcohol dependence or abuse should be seen for what it is a real disease that needs real treatment. These patients need all the support they can get from those around them, and education on the subject is paramount to recognizing the signs and symptoms that manifest. Education for healthcare workers so they understand these patients, as well as how to successfully treat them with medications, together with the patient’s desire to enter therapy will hopefully change that 50% to 25% or better 0% relapse in first few months.

Legal Services for Alcohol Abuse Addiction

Patient Education & Counseling online course

Public Health Nursing online certificate program

Forensic Nursing Online Certificate Program

Forensic Nursing Online Introduction Course

Online Advanced Nursing Health Assessment Course


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