News: Awareness training for health care providers at Fort Bragg
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Health care providers at Womack Army Medical Center learned more about their role in the health care of intimate partner violence at Weaver Auditorium, Oct. 11.
“The Role of the Health Care Provider in Domestic/Intimate Partner Violence” was an in-depth overview of the medical necessity and liability for the providers.
“I was asked to speak in honor of Domestic Awareness Month, to try to engage the health care providers here in accessing for domestic violence and effectively intervening on behalf of their patients,” said Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, a registered nurse and a forensic nurse examiner with the International Association of Forensic Nurses and Memorial Health System in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The training covered topics including confidentiality issues, legal issues, intervention and management, documentation and different types of strangulation's that health care providers should look for.
Pierce-Weeks said the training was for health care providers. However, professionals of the community who come in contact with domestic violence victims were able to participate in the training.
During the training, Pierce-Weeks described how screening appropriately, helps health care providers make the connection between victimization, health problems and risk behaviors. To make screening easier for the health care providers, Pierce-Weeks mentioned a few helpful tips.
“Patients are more willing to have a conversation, rather than just asking,” she said. “You don’t want to just ask the bare minimum and assume that nothing is going on at home.”
She also suggested that health care providers should talk to the patients alone, and not while the patient’s spouse is in the same room.
“If you ask the patients in front of their significant other, it gives their partner an idea of what goes on and possibly rehearsed answers will be given at the next appointment,” said Pierce-Weeks.
The first portion of the training focused more on how to effectively screen for domestic violence by talking to the victims, the second part centered on strangulation and the signs, which aren’t commonly recognized.
“Strangulation's are more prevalent as a whole (in the country),” said Valerie McNeill, a Victims Witness Liaison with the XVIII Airborne Corps Judge Advocate General office. “We have several cases that deal with strangulation and some of the signs were shown during the presentation.”
“Only about half of strangulation victims have visible injuries,” said Pierce-Weeks. “You have to get close and really examine your patients. For example, if a patient is a sitting across from you, you will never see there are capillaries opened up underneath the eyelids or on the eyes.”
Ultimately, the training emphasized the importance of accurately accessing a patient for domestic violence and recognizing the red flags before something worse happens.
The training helped emphasize Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and also honored 2nd Lt. Holley L. James-Wimunc, a registered nurse from Womack Army Medical Center, who died from intimate partner violence.
“Prevention is the key,” said Robin Span, a victim advocate coordinator at Army Community Services, at Fort Bragg, N.C. “We want people to know there is an array of services available both on post and off post to help prevent domestic violence.”
Date Posted:10.31.2011 13:51
Location:FORT BRAGG, NC, US
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