Nurses Trained to Handle Domestic Violence Cases

By: Brittany Gunter Email
By: Brittany Gunter Email

Domestic violence often goes unnoticed until it's too late. Now, local nurses are receiving training to try and change that. Part of it is learning to ask the right questions.

It's becoming an all too common situation. A patient comes into the hospital physically hurt, assaulted by a partner, and it's the nurses’ responsibility to sort through all the information and try and help.

Nurse Nikki Deboer said, "The emotional piece of it is probably the hardest to get through."

But now the nurses involved in these types of cases at Methodist Hospital, like Nikki, are receiving training that they hope will make a big difference.

Using makeup and a fake story the nurses learn from a model. They learn how to ask the right questions to get important answers. Then they practice the physical assessment.

Not only are the nurses trained to ask the patients about mental and physical problems, but they're also trained to ask about routine health care, things that can help them be better prepared.

Instructor Elise Turner said, "What we found is when patients come to the health care setting and they receive skilled expert care by forensic nurses who know how to provide that care, assess their problems, address their concerns, these patients are much more likely to be able to take steps to ensure their own safety."

The nurses are trained in sexual assault. They thought this additional training would be a good fit. It’s the only program in Omaha to provide specialized care for victims of sexual assault.

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