The reality of forensic nursing bears little resemblance to television crime dramas. Often taking place in an emergency department, the work of the forensic nurse combines caring for a patient undergoing a significant event in his/her life with carefully preserving evidence for future use. From protecting bloody clothing to bagging hands to prevent the loss of gunshot residue, a forensic nurse must be aware of both her patient’s health and any evidence present on this patient.
This week is Forensic Nurses Week, and we would like to salute those nurses who provide the valuable service of standing in the gap between the medical and legal fields. They treat both victims and perpetrators, leaving their own opinions at the door. Their patients include men and women, babies and the elderly, sexual assault victims, children who have been abused or neglected, and even the victims of mass disasters.
As providers of sexual assault evidence collection kits, we work hand-in-hand with SANE nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) and appreciate the care and service they provide. For more information on Forensic Nursing, visit the International Association of Forensic Nurses website, where you can find the answers to many frequently asked questions about the profession.
The IAFN suggests wearing lilac, the official color of forensic nursing, on November 11, 2012, to honor forensic nurses. Thank you to all of the forensic nurses who do such a terrific job!