Domestic violence

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    I am a nurse and a survivor of domestic violence. I have recently started an advocacy program that integrates resources and awareness within the medical community. I am interested in hearing what my fellow nurses across the country think about Mandatory CME training for nurses directly related to domestic violence in adults. I am also pushing for mandated CME training for all MD and DOs. It was a nurse that wouldn’t take no for an answer 8 years ago, after my husband ran me down with our car while I was 8 months pregnant, that changed my life forever. Domestic violence is the leading cause of death in pregnancy and is more prevalent than pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes combined. It is also the leading cause of injury to women. According to the CDCs 2010 intimate partner and sexual violence survey an estimated 19,153,000 victims were treated for Domestic violence related injury and/or need for medical care directly related to that crime in that survey year alone. The national coalition against domestic violence says that 1 in 4 women are victims and 1 in 7 men are victims and an estimated 10 million children are victims and witnesses every year in the US. Not to mention the 5.8 billion dollars spent on domestic violence in the United States healthcare industry every year. So again, knowing the most important facts, how do you feel about mandatory training for this healthcare crisis?


    It depends on what you have in mind for the mandatory training. A one time class during nursing school would be fine, but another yearly competency class, over and over and over again, every year, would make me want to cut my eyes out with a spork.

    I’m not saying it isn’t an important issue, but making it a mandatory class in order to renew your license, I would be opposed to that. There are a multitude of great causes out there, such as accidental ingestion of toxic substances by pediatric patients, but not all of them need to be learned by every nurse, especially every nurse every year.

    Good luck with your project. It is good to be passionate about a cause. I’m just tired of the mountain of mandatory classes I have to take every year for my hospital, I would like to avoid more mandatory training (I think there are better ways of getting the message out as opposed to force feeding.)


    The problem that we are running into in getting it covered just in nursing school, is that it is so much information to cover with all the ethics involved that there is no way to pack it all in with the already overwhelming work load. What do you think about initial state licensure? You would need to have so many credit hours for initial licensure, it’s on the table, but to me it seems a bit overwhelming to place that on a new grad financially and academically. Because domestic violence has very classic signs, I believe you are correct in it being repetitive. What then is the answer? A 1-2 hr CME every other relicensure, which would be every 6 years in my state. Do you think that would be a good compromise? It isn’t just a cause, it is a serious medical crisis that is often misdiagnosed or under treated and the homicide rate is creeping up every year. If we continue to turn our heads then year after year it is going to become socially acceptable to not talk about it more and more. We are talking about a massive patient population. It was great to get the take a nurse that is a male! Thank you for responding.


    A couple hours every six years would be ok for me … we have to renew our license every year, so an every other year would be too much.

    Have you ever thought about going the legislative route? I’m a mandatory reporter for child abuse/neglect and for elder abuse/neglect, but I am unable to call anyone about domestic violence without the patient’s permission … I did once as a new ER nurse, and I got in big trouble for it. We have little cards we can hand out to women who we think are getting abused, and they have tried to mandate that we ask in triage “do you feel safe at home” to every patient, but often times that is passed over, and even if they say no … there isn’t really anything we can do about it.

    I think it is more of a legal issue and an available services issue more than it is a nursing issue. I didn’t mean to minimize the problem by calling it your passion, but I see so many issues that serious medical problems that are not being adequately treated or cared for, for a multitude of reasons (We have no psych in my county, dental problems are all pay up front or don’t get treated, no in-patient drug rehab, etc.)

    I was in the army, so I know that domestic violence and sexual assaults are two big problems that need to be addressed. I have a daughter, so I want society to change in ways which will keep her safe, but sending an OR scrub nurse to domestic violence training, when they never see a conscious patient seems a bit much. Train those who could help patients with that knowledge, but training does us no good if we don’t have any tools to use to actually help patients who suffer from domestic violence.

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