Awareness of Forensic Cases Among Nurses: A Descriptive, Cross-Sectional Study.


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Bektaş G., Pakiş I.

Journal of forensic nursing, vol.17, pp.182-187, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/jfn.0000000000000323
  • Title of Journal : Journal of forensic nursing
  • Page Numbers: pp.182-187
  • Keywords: Awareness, forensic medicine, nursing, EMERGENCY-DEPARTMENTS

Abstract

Purpose This study reports the knowledge, experience, and attitudes of nurses toward forensic cases in Turkey; critically evaluates the appropriateness of current practices in the collection and preservation of evidence; and assesses nurses' level of awareness on the law enforcement perspective of forensic cases. The study, thereby, seeks to offer solutions to some practical difficulties faced by nurses in clinical practice in Turkey. Methods The study involved 178 nurses of 202 employed in three healthcare centers operated by the same private healthcare group located in Istanbul, Turkey. The primary method of data collection was a questionnaire composed of three sections. The first section recorded data concerning the participants' age, gender, number of years spent in the profession, number of years spent in current workplace, department in which they worked, and their job title. The second section sought to assess the participants' academic background and, specifically, the extent of their educational training on forensic cases at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Finally, the third section aimed to assess the participants' knowledge of and approach toward the management of forensic cases in real-life time setting by collecting data on their previous experience with forensic cases. Results Of 178 nurses, 139 (78.1%) were female and 39 (21.9%) were male. The mean age was 28.6 years, ranging from 18 to 51 years. The participants expressed that they experienced difficulties in medicolegal procedures (21.9%), evidence collection (14.0%), history taking and preparation of the patient (10.1%), forensic case reporting (10.1%), registry (9.0%), and physical examination (7.9%). The level of knowledge of the collection of forensic evidence and the protection of wet evidence was statistically higher among the participants who previously received training on the collection, preservation, and transfer of forensic evidence versus those who were not previously trained (p < 0.001 for both). Conclusion Our study results highlight the need for medicolegal regulations and legislation allowing for the creation of specific positions for forensic nurses in Turkey. We also concluded that these nurses should be trained and equipped with necessary knowledge and skills in forensic nursing.