Got what it takes to be in a crime scene? Are you ready for a nerve- cracking legal situation? Then, if yes, you must be taking the challenging role of a nurse investigator – a forensic nurse.
Nursing as a unique and rewarding profession has maintained its flexibility in a vast of roles. It has its distinction from other professions because the words, “nursing care”, do not only pertain to the four walls of the hospital but also of the outside world.
Forensic nursing is not a new role, but it is a unique entity of nursing, because of its ample legal job description. It is the combination of medico-legal capability, justice and law. This one of a kind task offers compassion and delicate care to those victims of violence and abuse, especially of women and children. Therefore, a forensic nurse is a highly trained nurse in evidence collection and in gathering testimonies to be utilized in court. In anyway, it has evolved into an important role in the criminal justice system abroad but sad to say, not yet recognized in our country. They usually work with government law enforcement agencies and the public health department. Nevertheless, this sort of function is not laid for the faint-hearted but to those strong-willed nurses because of its demanding precision in providing efficient care to those victims of emotional, psychological and physical torture.
In the Philippines, this function is not yet widely known but there are few who practice this without them knowing. These would include those who work in women and children help desk and those working in a non- government organization catering to those who had suffered abuse, neglect, and domestic violence.
A female officer assumes the position in the women and children help desk because it is believed that the ambiance of a female mirror motherly and loving care to abused and neglected children and at the same time, women who became victims of domestic violence could develop an open connection, too. However, it does not reflect gender inequality since these rationalizations provide an effective avenue for the healing process of victims. This job is somehow alike with that of a forensic nurse; only that nursing care is not involved with this but pure knowledge of medicine and criminology.
Working as an industrial nurse in a non- government organization dealing with abused women and children is considered somehow identical with that of a forensic nurse. It could be realized that an industrial nurse whose job description involves emotional and psychological nurture, also encompasses several of additional roles, such as:
- Patient Advocate – Focusing on promoting the best for the client, ensuring that the client’s needs are met and protecting the rights of the client.
- Counselor – By assisting the client cope with stressful problems, for her to have an improved personal and interpersonal relationship.
- Researcher – By investigating pieces of evidence, obtaining findings, and documenting vital information.
- Change Agent – Initiating lifestyle modifications that involve the nursing care plan.
- Educator – Teaching the client about health promotion and maintenance.
- Care Provider – By simply accepting the client as a person.
Being a nurse in the forensic field describes nursing as an outlet for change and justice. It is a caring profession that allocates oneself for the betterment of others. Actually, these statements summarize what a nurse does, too. Thus, any specialization of nursing calls for an appreciation because every nurse deserves it.