Nursing: Introduction to Forensic Evidence

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About the Webinar Course

This webinar course has been previously recorded.  

Every contact between two persons or objects leaves a trace is one of the basic constructs of crime scene investigation. With over 1 million violent crimes committed in the U.S. annually, it is nearly inevitable that nurses in all settings will care for a crime suspect or victim at some point in their career. Though acute settings, such as the Emergency Department, see the bulk of forensic patients, it is possible for inpatient units, operating rooms, and other nursing environments to encounter victims of violent crimes, such as domestic violence, assault, elder or pediatric abuse.  In such cases, adopting the basic forensic principles into nursing practice can assist law enforcement in the investigation and contribute to the prosecution or exoneration of an assailant.  This webinar provides an overview of the types of evidence that may present with a forensic patient along with evidence collection and preservation techniques and is pertinent for nurses in all settings who provide care to individuals where the collection of evidence is required.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, the learner will be able to:
  • Identify the types of forensic evidence and uses in criminal investigations.
  • Discuss general principles of evidence collection in the healthcare environment.
  • Discuss forensic evidence collection and handling procedures.

About the Author:
Teresa Devitt-Lynch, MSN, RN, ANF-BC, SANE-A

Teresa Devitt-Lynch, MSN, RN, ANF-BC, SANE-A holds a Master’s Degree in Nursing and is board-certified in Advanced Forensic Nursing and Adult/Adolescent Sexual Assault Nurse Examinations. She is also a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy with a nursing background in medical-surgical, couplet care, ambulatory surgery, education and training, and forensic healthcare. As a forensic nurse and educator, she has developed and provided forensic education to military and civilian healthcare staff, with a focus on sexual assault and domestic violence issues.  Ms. Devitt-Lynch is also engaged in several organizational, national, and community-based committees aimed at enhancing forensic healthcare and fostering multidisciplinary collaboration in the investigation prosecution of crimes that involve medical evidence such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and strangulation.  Currently a Legal Nurse Consultant and owner of the INTREPID Forensic Healthcare Consulting, LLC, she provides criminal case consulting and educational services to healthcare providers, law enforcement, and law professionals on  forensic healthcare topics.  

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