DQ2 Response to Bernal’s Post
Whenever a minor patient comes into the E.D. we immediately assess their relationship with their parents, as well as any physical or emotional signs of abuse. Is the child behaving appropriately? As in, do they appear comfortable, or do they appear fearful, withdrawn, isolated, and quiet when the parents are around, but if the parent leaves the room the child appears at ease. Do they have any physical signs of abuse, such as bruising in areas that are not common. These areas would include the face, hands, upper arms, torso or back area. More common areas of bruising for children include, the legs, arms, knees and forehead. If they come in with a broken bone, does the story match up to the physical appearance. For example, if a mother were to come in and state that her 2 month old rolled off the bed and hit her head. We as health care providers need to be aware that this is unlikely because 2 month olds are not able to roll themselves off a bed. Does the child appear to be neglected? Are there clothes filthy, do they appear malnourished, do they smell bad. These are all things that need to be kept in mind and observed when caring for any child. At my facility, we as nurses always consult a collegue about what we found, in order to obtain further input. If we do suspect abuse, we let the charge nurse know, we call DCS, as well as the non-emergency police phone number. We try our best to keep the parent’s from leaving the facility until DCS or the police are able to come.
Callaghan, J. E., Fellin, L. C., Alexander, J. H., Mavrou, S., & Papathanasiou, M. (2017). Children and domestic violence: Emotional competencies in embodied and relational contexts. Psychology of Violence, 7(3), 333-342. doi:10.1037/vio0000108
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