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Forensic Evidence Collection

Author: Dana Bartlett, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI
(Click author's name for bio)

CE: 2 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 31580 reviews

Course Summary

Specially trained forensic health team members are often the first-response of medical care and crisis intervention for vulnerable victims of sexual assault and physical abuse. Increasingly, state jurisdictions are requiring some health professionals in a variety of health settings to be specifically trained to provide health care to victims of sexual assault. These specially trained medical and nursing staff also liaise with other health, law enforcement, and legal professionals to ensure that timely and appropriate documentation and forensic evidence is collected to improve outcomes for victims. These specially trained health professionals are invaluable with assisting in the legal requirements related to the prosecution of violent offenders. The development of forensic healthcare is discussed, with a specific case focus on Texas law as it pertains to forensic nursing in sexual assault cases, found in the Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services Act, Texas Government Code, section 420.001, et seq.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.         Introduction
II.         Sexual Assault Prevention and Crisis Services Act
III.        Epidemiology of Sexual Assault: Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Abuse
IV.       Forensic Nursing in Assault and Abuse Cases
1.        Texas Board of Nursing: Board Rule 216.3(d)(1)
V.       History Taking in a Case of Sexual Assault
1.         Details of the Sexual Assault
2.        Medical History
VI.        Physical Examination
VII.       Forensic Evaluation
1.        Collecting and Packaging Evidence
2.        Labeling and Storing
3.        Avoiding Contamination
4.        Proper Sealing of Evidence
5.        Maintain the Chain of Custody
VIII.      Chain of Custody
IX.       Toxicology Evidence
X.        Sexual Assault and Pregnancy
XI.      Intimate Partner Violence and Elder Abuse: Victim Needs
XII.       Case Study: Violent Rape and Forensic Evidence Collection
XIII.      Summary


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