Advanced Practice Nurses and Domestic Violence

Essay by pinksation3University, Master's July 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Advanced Practice Nurses like other primary care providers, have an obligation to advocate for abused patients. Specialization of domestic violence case management holds great potential to address domestic violence effectively (Epstein, 1999). Advanced practice nurses are in prime positions to impact staff development, research, and daily practice of domestic violence prevention and screening while attending to the primary care needs of 80% of the ambulatory patients and already have health prevention as a strong component of their practice (Willson, 1998). Screening each patient every year for domestic violence would identify those women who are victims and begin empowering them (Willson, 1998). Primary prevention begins with asking patients about domestic violence by raising their awareness. Nurses can insure that clear protocols for identifying and treating domestic assault victims are in place in their healthcare facilities (Willson, 1998). APNs must deal with violence as a primary prevention issue by recognizing the use of control tactics as a cause for domestic violence (Willson, 1998).

Wilson suggests a clinical example may be in helping a teenager recognize coercion behaviors in a dating relationship.

The case managers role in victim empowerment include emotional support, and problem solving for material assistance. Referrals, food, clothing, shelter, lawyers, money are the resources the case manager provides for the patient. This includes accompaniment to court, help obtaining an order of protection, public assistance, and other needed services. Once the needs of an individual or family have been met a case manager may be assigned to help coordinate, monitor, evaluate and advocate for services to address those needs. Case managers are not service providers. An effective case manager works with many different agencies to arrange and monitor delivery of appropriate services and support. Being cognizant of relevant current political and legal debates would keep the nurse poised for action. Nurses...