A forensic nurse is a very important member of health care profession. A forensic nurse uses her expertise and knowledge in medical science, psychology, forensic science, sociology and especially nursing science to aid in investigations, collection of evidence, preservations and analysis of evidence, treatment of traumatic patients and other medical-legal issues. The importance of this field of nursing is justified by statistics on crime. In 2007, there were over 5.1 million reported violent crimes in the United States (Department of Justice, 2007). The productivity, economic and medical burden of these crimes was estimated at seventy billion dollars annually (Corso, Mercy, Simon et al., 2007).
The increased prevalence of crimes in the country requires health care professionals to identify and treat victims of abuse, trauma and make referrals when necessary. This justifies the importance of forensic nursing. There are forensic nurses in my community. In addition to their roles as envisions by standards of nursing practice, the forensic nurses in various facilities are tasked with the identification and assessment of victims of both violent and nonviolent crimes. With their expertise in the fields discussed above, forensic nurses provide medical care for these victims (Nies & McEwen, 2013).
Additionally, and in line with the protocols of forensics, these nurses notify law enforcement officers and initiate evidence collection measures. The forensic nurse in the community plays a vital role. A forensic nurse helps victims of violent and nonviolent crimes in a double whammy manner. In addition to providing proper medical care to the victims, the forensic nurse in the community helps the victims get justice by collecting and presenting evidence that can be used in convicting the perpetrators (Nies & McEwen, 2013).
The position of a school nurse comes with some inherent authority. As a clinician, the school nurse has the authority to develop health plans for the students, administer medication and treatment regimens and monitor to ensure the compliance of the students to these regimens. As an advocate, the registered school nurse is authorized to negotiate for system changes in order to provide an emotionally and physically safe environment for the students and staff in the school setting. As a collaborator, the registered school nurse is authorized to assist families with the complexities of the medical systems, identify appropriate services for various health conditions, the financial resources required and health promotion activities and necessities such as food and shelter (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008).
In this capacity, the school nurse collaborates with other agencies in the health care system to assist the parents as needed. As a health educator, the registered school nurse is authorized to collaborate with the school administration in order to create health education opportunities that are designed to enhance behavior change. In this capacity, the school nurse works in coherence with the school curriculum to ensure students take part in health promoting activities. Finally, the registered school nurse is authorized to liaise with other agencies in the community. In this capacity, the registered school nurse coordinates efforts between the medical community and the school in order to ensure the promotion of health (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2008).
For instance, the school nurse, in liaison with a physician, a registered school nurse will isolate students with contagious diseases. This scope justifies the proposition that all schools need a registered school nurse. This stance is further justified by the fact many children with different health related complains. The school nurse addresses these concerns, thereby preventing absenteeism. Additionally, the health programs incorporated in the scope of a school nurse enhance a comprehensive approach to health. The presence of a school nurse benefits the students with practical knowledge on substance abuse, sex education, and nutrition and weight management. These elements are important t the health of the children. As such, all schools should have a registered school nurse (Nies & McEwen, 2013).
American Academy of Pediatrics, (2008). Role of the school nurse in providing school health services. Pediatrics, 121: 1052-1056
Corso P., Mercy J., Simon T. & Finkelstein E., et al., (2007). Medical costs and productivity losses due to interpersonal and self-directed violence in the United States, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 32(6):474–482.
Nies, M. & McEwen, M. (2013). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations. St. Louis. Elsevier Saunders.