When many individuals decide to become nurses or health care assistants, they do so because they want to make a difference in the world, even a small one. They want to make the lives of those around them just a little bit brighter, and a little bit better. One way they can do this is through nursing job opportunities like becoming a domestic violence nurse.
A domestic violence nurse is also known as a forensic nurse. This type of nurse deals with a population that is vulnerable and complex- victims of domestic violence. While any nurse or health care assistant that believes a patient has become a victim of domestic violence must report their finding to the authorities, these types of nurses are specially trained. Their training allows them to screen patients they see, identify injuries, document occurrences of domestic violence, and connect with the patients in an effort to help them get out of the situation they are in.
They are often responsible for making the health care environment a comfortable place, so that victims find it easier to disclose their experience. They may be responsible for photographing injuries that can later be used by the judicial system.
This field of nursing is relatively new, but it’s quickly growing.
How to Become a Nurse in the Domestic Violence Field
The steps to becoming a nurse that specializes in domestic violence vary depending on where you plan to work. Many who work in emergency rooms receive in-house training, while others must complete more of their education to join this field. On average, the typical path to this field is as follows.
- Earn your nursing degree and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. You can taking this exam after obtaining a nursing diploma, associate degree in nursing, or bachelor degree in nursing. You can then move to step two or continue to step three.
- Complete your master’s degree in nursing, with a concentration in forensic nursing.
- Undergo Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training.
- Take the Forensic Nursing certification exam. This exam is completely voluntary. If you did not complete step two, some experience working in the domestic violence field is recommended before taking this exam.
The Health Care Assistant and Domestic Violence
If you’re working as a health care assistant and wish to help victims of domestic violence, you can do so by working with domestic violence nurses in hospitals, emergency rooms, and clinics. Your responsibilities will be to help create a safe environment, make the patient feel comfortable by assisting them with non-medical tasks, and updating the nurse in charge of any changes to the patient you notice.
You don’t have to work with a domestic violence nurse after CNA training to help victims, however. Unfortunately, these victims are everywhere. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you can help identify signs that a woman, child, man, or elderly individual has been subjected to physical, mental, sexual, or financial abuse.
PayScale for Nurses: Domestic Violence Specialty
Because this is a relatively new speciality, salary information is rather limited. However, a few domestic violence nurses have posted their salaries on Payscale.com. You can expect to earn between $28.00 and $39.55 per hour working in this nursing specialty when you first start out. Taking the SANE training and working with sexual assault victims will put you in higher demand, which will often mean a higher salary.
Do you want to help victims of domestic violence? Become a domestic violence nurse or health care assistant now.