The forensic nurse has a powerful role in medical-legal investigations. Going beyond the nurse’s traditional role, forensic nurses are often at the forefront of evidence collection and preservation. They can maintain an evidentiary chain of custody, testify as an expert witness in a court of law, care for victims, assist victims’ families, and work with the community and law enforcement by providing educational programs. Forensic Nursing: A Concise Manual presents practical information directed at the range of activities that forensic nurses perform, offering guidelines for examining and correlating medical, psychological, ethical, and legal data specific to victims.
The book begins with an introduction to the fields of forensic nursing and forensic science. It discusses crime scene and death investigation, evidence collection, autopsies, legal issues, and ethics. It examines the nursing process as an organizational tool for identifying both the medical needs of the victim and the legal aspects of crime scene investigation. The authors pinpoint the role of the forensic nurse in an array of incident scenarios, including nursing home death, excited delirium syndrome, blunt and sharp force injuries, gunshot wounds, asphyxia, child abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence. They also explore human trafficking and the forensic nurse’s role in mass disasters. Lastly, the book provides emergency room recommendations, discusses profiling and forensic anthropology, and offers guidance on working with grieving family members.
Using a succinct outline format, the text is complemented by illustrative flowcharts and references in each chapter for further study. With contributions by notable forensic specialists, this volume shows the potential of this exciting new field and demonstrates how forensic nurses can make a difference in their communities and their profession.