Nursing and Domestic Violence

Class Participation: Describe how patients in your setting are screened for intimate partner violence; child abuse and neglect; and elder abuse and neglect? What behaviors or physical findings lead you to suspect abuse? What does your hospital policy state about reporting abuse? Response should be 3-4 well developed paragraphs with references (2 points

    Jarvis (2012) reminds us that any facility that provides health care must have in place policies to that allow healthcare providers to assess for domestic violence; and that once the assessment has been done, the healthcare provider has a clear avenue to with which they may document and report their findings. There is a distinction made between neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse: all of these categories of abuse are incorporated into the state statutes that deal with intimate partner violence, child and elder abuse and neglect (Jarvis, 2012).
    In previous healthcare settings where I have been employed, screening questions related to abuse/neglect were provided on our preprinted assessment forms. They were specific to the department where the assessment was being performed: PICU assessments were different than what we used on an adult floor because much of the information had to be obtained from caregivers (some of whom were suspected to have been the ones who had inflicted the abuse) and many of our patients were non verbal and we relied on our observation and physical assessment skills to detect signs of physical and emotional abuse. Particular attention was paid to pervious hospitalizations for injuries or findings that substantiated previous injuries that were not treated, such a poorly healed fracture or scars. The parent’s level of emotional stress was also monitored closely especially when there were several young children in the home, or in the case of a special needs child. According to Jarvis (2012) one of the risk factors that could contribute to child abuse includes...