Why Should You Consider Becoming a Forensic Nurse?
Their Role Is To...
Among latest expert professions acknowledged solely by the American Nurses Association you will find an extremely exceptional and urgently needed Forensic Nurse; one that is rare, therefore highly competitive and likely sought after even in your surroundings. One of your tasks as a Forensic Nurse is to cooperate with law enforcement agents to achieve progress in the investigation of criminal cases, e.g. abuse or accidental death or assault.
In addition to the aid in a criminal investigation, forensic nurses collect clues from both the survivors of violent atrocities and the perpetrators; hence, a case is defined and justice can be installed.
Image Source: Turning Point - Services to End Domestic and Sexual Violence; a manifold profession
Subspecialties As Manifold As a Table of Colours
Disconcerting reality truly presumes hunger after forensic nursing subspecialties. Crimes happen practically on daily bases; even when the criminal has already been put in jail. Few samples may help you draw a clear-cut image of the job variety that a forensic nursing entails: a Correctional Nursing Specialist, a Forensic Clinical Nurse Specialist, a Forensic Gerontology Specialist, a Forensic Nurse Investigator, a Forensic Psychiatric Nurse, a Legal Nurse Consultant, a Nurse Coroner Investigator or a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
Flabbergasting majority of forensic nursing experts is aimed at sexual assaults, having death investigation the second in the row, forensic psychiatric nursing as the third with the medical-legal consulting right thereafter.
Not Only In Agatha Christie's Stories
As you may deduce from detective stories but may have never assumed to be the case of someone’s everyday life, it is exactly a forensic nurse who gathers the evidence after a sexual assault or rape occurred and captures eloquent photos in order to have the liable person caught. Should the responsible one already have a criminal record, then his/her identity will emerge when the DNA sample is cross-referenced in the criminal database. Other than that, the victim may know who committed the assault; therefore, this DNA sample is sought to be collected from the suspect and, as you may expect, in case the two DNA samples match, the proven criminal gets arrested.
Death, too, needs to be inspected for the cause of a victim; wherefore the assistance of the forensic nurse comes handy to the pathologist. In some occasions, this role is already delivered by the coroner.
Less understandable may seem that a convict or a suspect should be psychiatrically evaluated to define whether they are fit for trial. Yet this is the task of forensic psychiatric nursing. Released prisoners can be ordered to take the same test so they can higher the chances to find some employment.
Enrollment and Practice
What shall you do to become a forensic nurse? You need to enroll in a university programme; one that is targeted at the criminal justice, forensic mental health, violence in between people, victimology or perpetrator theory.
If this seems manageable, very well; notwithstanding, an internship or another practice experience under the supervision of a trained forensic doctor or a nurse will be needed as well. Proved ongoing progress in the field deems a satisfactory outcome but requires from you that you enroll in continuing education courses, too. If your goal is to develop your career, apply for a formal graduate program and attain a Master’s degree.
With the degree, you can move on to work application, not even having the need to present yourself with a certificate, so often demanded by other nursing fields.
What if you already work as a registered nurse for some time? You definitely can shift to forensic nursing. Only pass the exam by the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
In what other fields can forensic nursing be useful, apart from assisting law enforcement officials? These fields form a good variety: tissue and organ donation, pediatrics and a correctional institution.
In the first case, the tissue and organ donation, you will talk to the family of the promising donor. Provided that they agree, the donator will fill in the legal documents, to see to it that all is conveniently archived.
As a pediatric, you will assist and comfort the victims of abuse or neglect.
Lastly, for work in correctional facilities, you are bound to take care of health screening, of education of inmates on health associated subjects, taking over the care for acute illness and injuries, give out medication and deliver acute and chronic assessments.
Working as a forensic nurse there is a lot you can do. Only discover which opportunities fit you the best and go for it!
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