Have you wondered how criminal cases are solved?
Yes! You are right if police investigation is your answer. A team of police officers investigates and seizes the criminals. Before that, many research activities are involved in tracing the people responsible for the crimes. One especially skilled person who is in the team that assists in tracing the signs of criminals is the forensic nurse. The forensic nurses are trained in collecting evidence from the crime scenes that make the way for further exploration.
Forensic nursing is a field that combines medical nursing training, investigation of crimes, and legal knowledge. Forensic nursing is a science that helps in examining the victim’s conditions of a rape, abuse and domestic violence. It is a combination of three different exciting careers namely medical health care, law enforcement and specialization in nursing care. If you want to help people oppressed by anti-social elements and bring justice to them, forensic nursing career will empower you with medical and legal knowledge.
Forensic nursing science has helped in solving many cases and books the criminals. It is a specializing field where you will learn to sympathize with the victims, interview the criminal people and know their psychology behind committing despicable acts. You can also treat and cure the patient/victim mentally, emotionally and medically. Many degree and certification courses would help you to become a forensic nurse. These nurses also take the help of CNA (certified nursing assistant) in solving the queries.
How to Become a Forensic Nurse?
To become a forensic nurse, you have to be a registered nurse first. Then only you can specialize in forensic science. Admission to the forensic specialization courses are not allowed unless you have few years of experience as a registered nurse. As a forensic nurse, you will work with patients who are abused, raped and assaulted. Depending on your specialization, you may also work with dead bodies identifying the cause of death, and picking up fingerprints of criminals. If you are working with police department, you will have to visit the crime scenes and collect evidence. A bachelor’s degree in science and nursing is necessary if you are looking for this exciting career.
The American Board of Forensic Nursing has mandated that candidate for this forensic nurse position must be a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have a valid Registered Nurse License. After completing three years of practice as a registered nurse, you can enroll in a forensic nurse program. Many nursing universities offer specialties training programs such as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE), Medical Examiner’s Office, Medical Legal Consultant, Medico-legal Death Investigator, Evidence Collection Trainer, and Law Enforcement Team.
In the training class, you will have education on using scientific methods for physical examination and psychological assessment, collecting evidence, writing medical report, interviewing the victim, investigating death, examining victim of sexual assault, preserving crime scenes, preparing reports for legal procedures, forensic photography and mental health issues. Remember, there will be much more topics you will be learning in the training course. Further, your state has the authority in deciding the syllabus.
Career opportunities in Forensic Nursing
Crime rate is mounting high in spite of strict law. Many cases of rape, abuse, and violent crimes are happening throughout the country. The administration needs people who can combine their nursing skills
with knowledge of crime scene investigation and law to solve cases. As such, forensic nursing career is very promising. However, being a relatively new profession, you will have to search for the job vigorously than other nursing jobs.
Every hospital has an emergency unit, and they need nurses who are skilled in examining patients brought in. If the patients are victims of crime, the first thing a forensic nurse would do is to save him/her. If the patients can talk, the forensic nurse would try to collect information about the incidences and keep the evidence intact. You will also work in trauma care units where you will assist patients who have met an accident due to negligence of others. In such cases, you will record statements and preserve clinical and physical evidence.
Some healthcare facilities will appoint you just to investigate negligence of staff due to which patients have to suffer. You may also work in a police department or with detective agency investigating crimes. The job opportunity to work as a consultant, educator and a counselor in a public health department is too possible. Employment as a forensic nurse is also possible in a coroner’s office, insurance company, rehabilitation center and medical examiner’s office.
Forensic nursing is specialized training skills that are used in medical and legal industries for both treating victims and catching a criminal through evidence on the crime scene. As a forensic nurse, you will be helping the victim and the law by preparing reports for the indictment of criminals.
James Markham is a Blogger from Ohio USA. He is also a medical student of MBBS 2nd prof at Northeast Ohio Medical University. Read more about him