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Is Forensic Nurse a New Breed of Investigator?

Jun 27, 2008
Forensic nurse is a new breed of investigator. They are simply nurses who have received specialized training in forensic science and criminal investigation. They work in close association with crime investigators and the law enforcement team. They combine their expertise in health care with their forensic training to help the crime branch function better.

There are various aspects of forensic nursing.

Forensic nurse helps victim of rape, molestation, child abuse, spousal abuse, domestic violence and other forms of sexual violence. They provide these victims immediate medical aid. They are trained to deal with victims of trauma and shock. With their health care expertise, they are a support to the victims. They also examine the victim thoroughly and collect evidence from the victims' body immediately and preserve it. If required they also testify in court.

Forensic nurse is required where there has been a mass destruction whether it is a mass killing or a natural calamity. They collect information and evidence. Identification of the dead is also done by them. When hurricane Katrina wrecked havoc in the Gulf States, they were called in to identify the dead. They know how to match DNA and establish the identity of the dead. This area of specialization is called medico-legal death investigator. They also conduct autopsies on the remains of dead victims to ascertain the cause of their death and recognize and collect any evidence that may be there.

Forensic nurse is present in the emergency room of a hospital. In several cases valuable evidence is lost in the confusion of the emergency room. Doctors clean a wound which could have been strong evidence against the criminal. In a critical case when doctors wait for the investigators to arrive, the victim may die. To prevent these circumstances from occurring, a forensic trained nurse should always be present in an emergency room. Sometimes a seemingly normal case of accidental injury turns out to be criminal case of physical assault. If the victim in not in a position to reveal the truth, the criminal may never get caught. They can pick up suggestions of foul play and get the violator caught.

A forensic nurse can also be a medical legal consultant. They are fully capable of providing medical as well as legal help to victims. They are trained and fully equipped to do so. They can work along with law enforcement teams and visit crime scenes. They are experts at recognizing and collecting evidence. Therefore they prove very valuable as members of the crime investigation teams. They provide psychiatric treatment to violent criminals in criminal rehabilitation centers. With their knowledge of health care and human psychology they prove very good psychiatrists.

Forensic nursing has good career prospects. A forensic nurse also earns a very good salary. An able and efficient forensic trained nurse can have a fat pay check. At present there are 7500 forensic nurses in the United States. The crime department wants to recruit many more. If you are already a nurse or are looking to become one, forensic nursing can be a very good career option for you.
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More in depth information can be found at the forensic nursing website. There are also great tips on getting how to be a effective forensic nurse
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