Forensic Nursing Essay

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Forensic Nursing Forensic nursing is a nursing specialty that serves multiple critical roles to health care and judicial systems with subspecialties that interface nursing practice and forensic knowledge to better serve and care for victims and perpetrators of violence, living and deceased. Violence is the main focus in forensic nursing and has been targeted as a goal in Healthy People 2020 to prevent injury and violent acts in the U.S. In the United States alone crime accounts for more deaths, injuries and loss of property than all natural disasters combined (Disaster Center, 2015). Approximately 13 million people (5% of the U.S. population) are victims of crime on a yearly basis and of those crimes 1.5 million are violent (Disaster Center,…show more content…
Primary roles of a forensic nurse include identification of victims, creation of appropriate treatment plans, and collection, documentation, and preservation of potential evidence (Halter, 2014). A nurse coroner/death investigator differs somewhat from the basic roles by serving to the deceased. Their responsibility is to determine how and why a victim has died based on observations of history, symptomology, autopsy results, toxicology, and other aspects related to their case. A forensic nurse examiner also differs with their primary focus being the defendant. Their tasks include, interviewing the defendant, striving to remain neutral, objective, and detached separating personal and professional opinions while noting behavior, past diagnoses, personality traits, emotions, cognitive abilities, and any symptoms of a mental disorder (Halter,2014). A forensic nurse holds multiple roles. They apply their medical surgical knowledge to the care for victims and perpetrators and/or they may also function in the legal system, testifying in court, collecting evidence and collaborating with law practitioners who have built a relationship with the victim or perpetrator associated with their case (Halter, 2014). Forensic nursing roles and responsibilities differ in each sub specialty but are all equally
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