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Intimate Partner Violence-Evidence Collection and Documentation for Home Care Clinicians

Intimate Partner Violence-Evidence Collection and Documentation for Home Care Clinicians

Intimate Partner Violence-Evidence Collection and Documentation for Home Care Clinicians

Colleen Symanski-Sanders, RN, Forensic Nurse Specialist
Colleen Symanski-Sanders, RN, Forensic Nurse Specialist
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

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Launch date: 09 Oct 2017
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Last updated: 28 Oct 2019

Reference: 184925

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Mr SAMUEL JOSIAH BSc (28 Oct 2019)
Good course

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Home health services offer clinicians’ diversity and independence in clinical practice. Most home health clinicians need competency in both pediatric and adult skills and knowledge in a variety of diseases. Diagnoses requiring home care can include sexually transmitted diseases, depressive disorders, urinary tract infections, lacerations, musculoskeletal injuries (such as fractures), irritable bowel syndrome, prenatal services, antepartum hemorrhage, low birth weight infants, and/or failure to thrive. In addition, clinicians must be prepared for an unexpected environment and be capable of communicating with the patient’s significant others, spouses, and children. These diagnoses can lead to unanticipated challenges for home care clinicians, as they can be the result of domestic violence. This article focuses on the evidence collection obtained through Intimate Partner Violence screening and documentation for home care clinicians. Many hospitals today have forensic nurses or nurses specifically trained in sexual assault. Unfortunately, home care is not a viable practice for these clinicians; leaving home care clinicians to fill the void.

Clinical forensic nursing has developed from, and expands as a means of coping with the increased complexity of nursing practice, society, and the law. When we talk of a living forensic population, we are referring to survivors of criminal or liability-related injuries that result or may result in a legal investigation. Such as, but not necessarily limited to, injuries or crimes which involve:

intimate partner violence,
police custody deaths,
abuse and neglect of the child, elderly, or disabled,
hate crimes,
sudden and unexpected deaths,
occupational and environmental hazards,
sexual assault,
substance abuse,
violence against oneself, and
natural or man-made disasters and/or terrorist attacks

"Domestic violence" is interchangeable with the updated phrase ""intimate partner violence"" (IPV) and refers to violent behavior between partners regardless of gender. Intimate partners need not be cohabiting nor is sexual activity necessarily involved. IPV generally is a continuing pattern of behavior rather than a single violent act, and for women, is defined as ""a pattern of coercive behaviors that may include repeated battering and injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive social isolation, deprivation, or intimidation. These behaviors are perpetrated by someone who is or was involved in an intimate relationship with the victim"".

Once a forensic patient is recognized, four overlapping clinical practice issues are addressed. They are physical evidence collection, non-physical evidence collection, meticulous documentation, and crisis intervention.


Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
1. Describe how evidence should be collected and documented when dealing with intimate partner violence.

2. List the dos and don’ts of asking questions when evaluating a victim of intimate partner violence.

3. Discuss the importance of confidentiality and ensuring privacy.
Colleen Symanski-Sanders, RN, Forensic Nurse Specialist

Author Information Play Video Bio

Colleen Symanski-Sanders, RN, Forensic Nurse Specialist
on behalf of e-Ed Credits

Colleen Symanski-Sanders, RN, Forensic Nurse Specialist, has been a Registered Nurse for over 18 years. She has extended her education into forensic nursing, criminal profiling, and psychopathy receiving a Certificate as a Forensic Nurse Specialist. She has over 16 years experience in public health and home care nursing.

Colleen has been an author of educational material for St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida. She has also lectured on a variety of topics at numerous nursing symposiums and conferences across the country. She is on the Editorial Board for "Home Health Aide Digest" and "Private Duty Homecare" publications.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • 1.00 Hours

Faculty and Disclosures

Additional Contributors

Conflicts Declared

Conflicts of Interest declaration by Author:


User Reviews (1)

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Mr SAMUEL JOSIAH BSc (28 Oct 2019)
Good course


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