4 Horrifying Situations Found in Forensic Nursing
Forensic nursing sounds kind of cute, almost like the job consists of wearing a sexy nurse outfit while studying the details of a crime from the safety of a lab… and bending over really far to look closely at blood samples. While that may be somewhat true, there are also plenty of forensic nursing jobs which involve braving the scene of the crime and permeating every dangerous corner of it to collect the tiniest bits of forensic and physical evidence. There’s also the aspect of dealing with victims, dead and alive, who have sustained horrific physical injuries. Television never really talks about these things besides to create a poorly mocked up CGI image of fake blood on a clearly living actor’s ‘corpse’ — but real life is a lot more gruesome. The real forensic nursing professionals have less witty banter and don’t drive Hummers, but they do save lives and solve crimes by putting aside all squeamishness and facing the goriest, most daunting of situations to collect evidence needed for closing cases. Here are some nasty, uncomfortable situations found only in forensic nursing.
Forensic Nursing Crime Scene Investigator
The forensic nursing crime scene investigator must brave the grueling task of closely inspecting a crime scene for infinitesimal specks of evidence, collecting them carefully, preserving them just as carefully, organizing the information in a neat little notebook, and bringing it back for inspection. “Evidence” is a clean, technical sounding term… but the reality is a lot more gruesome. Evidence can mean pubic hair stuck to the genitals of a corpse which has been rotting for several weeks. It can mean climbing down treacherous rocks near the ocean to retrieve blood spatter which has spilled down from a murder above. It can also mean pulling fibers or other trace evidence from the mushy mess of a body’s stomped-in, maggot infested skull. These horrific details don’t exactly inspire visions of CSI, which probably gets a lot of kids interested in crime scene investigation via its inaccurate, dumbed down portrayal of forensic nursing. It may be extremely difficult to deal with, but picking through these gruesome scenes is a job essential to solving crimes and putting away heartless murderers.
Forensic Nursing Sexual Assault Examiner
The position of forensic nursing sexual assault examiner is debatably better and worse than that of a forensic nursing crime scene investigator. On the darker side, the forensic nursing sexual assault examiner must deal with live patients who are usually traumatized, hurt, and afraid. It can be exhausting and disheartening to constantly see pained individuals who have been hurt by malicious, evil people — it’s not exactly an inspirational or motivational work poster any way you picture it. On the brighter side, it may be easier for some to work with the living than examine the dead in various stages of decomposition and in all sorts of gory situations. It’s also interesting to think about the difference between helping a murder victim who is dead and helping a rape victim who is still living. It must be gratifying to solve a case dealing with either rape or murder, but it must feel rewarding to have a rape victim thank you and go on to live a life with closure in regards to his or her case. Examining children can also be hard because sex abuse against kids is pretty much the most heinous, vile crime imaginable. There’s also the aspect of dealing with people who have sustained terrible injuries from their attackers.
Forensic Nursing for Child and Elderly Abuse
Abuse of a child or elderly individual is so terrible that it makes up an entirely different category of forensic nursing. In fact, the forensic nursing branches dealing with child abuse and dealing with elderly abuse are completely separate from one another, too. Special courses prepare forensic nursing professionals to deal with child and elderly maltreatment and its underlying courses. It’s possible to discover that a child or elderly person has been abused just by examining the way that person reacts when dealing with doctors or other professionals who have to examine them, which may seem threatening to a victim of abuse. It may be especially difficult to deal with children or the elderly who have been sexually abused, especially when examining severe physical injuries on the genitals or other areas on the body.
Testifying in Court
Testifying in court is the least gruesome aspect of a forensic nursing professionals job, but it still makes the list for being difficult and emotionally exhausting. Testifying in court can be particularly disheartening when facing distraught families of both victim and suspect; providing damning forensic nursing testimony for or against any one individual is sure to make at least one party unhappy. It can also be difficult when giving testimony regarding an individual that the forensic nursing professional may feel empathy and sympathy for; the crimes of another may be wrong, but that doesn’t mean that the people locking that person up will feel pleasure doing so — or even should. It can also be emotionally trying to have to repeatedly attend a long, drawn out trial which can last for months or even years. Not a nasty situation in the sense of goriness and direct exposure to horror shows, but definitely something that requires a great deal of emotional and mental strength nonetheless.