Riverside Forensic Nurses specialize in care for victims of violence. They care for the physical, psychological, and social trauma that occurs in patients who have been assaulted or abused. Riverside Forensic Nurses also have specialized knowledge of the legal system and collect evidence, provide medical testimony in court, and provide consultation to legal authorities.
Call 757-594-3983 for more information.
Functions of a Forensic Nurse
- Expert forensic examination
- Collection of evidence: biological, trace, and digital imagery of injuries
- Nursing autonomy
- Collaboration with community agencies
- Meeting victim's biopsychosocial needs
- Expert witness testimony
*Note: A victim does not have to report the incident to receive the medical exam and services listed here.
- Initiate interview to include a history of events for the purpose of diagnosis, treatment, and to guide evidence collection.
- Perform head-to-toe physical assessment - evidence collection/preservation and photo-documenting of injuries as indicated.
- Perform detailed ano-genital exam with evidence collection/preservation and photo documentation, as needed.
- Identify, collect, and package any possible forensic evidence.
- Maintain integrity of evidence through chain of custody.
- Provide nursing/medical treatment as indicated; to include emergency contraceptive and STD prophylaxis.
- Provide thorough discharge instructions with appropriate follow-up information.
- Physical evidence collection usually occurs within 120 hours of a sexual assault.
- Photo-documentation and forensic evaluation can take place any time after a sexual assault, domestic violence (including strangulation), intimate partner violence, child/elder abuse and neglect - regardless of the time since the incident took place.
- Medication to prevent STDs and pregnancy are available, some are only available within the first 72 hours from the sexual assault.
- Conduct human trafficking assessment.
- Referrals to counseling and support will be given.