Harris Regional Hospital has announced a Forensic Nurse Program to launch on Monday, Aug. 1. Harris Regional Hospital announced that six employed nurses were elected to become certified forensic nurses.
A forensic nurse has specialized training in handling delicate and traumatic experiences related to sexual assault. Harris Regional Hospital forensic nurse examiners are trained in trauma-informed care. The forensic nurse examiner collects evidence, coordinates with law enforcement, and testifies (if needed) in court as an expert witness. Further, forensic nurses can provide information regarding follow-up care and resources for treatment after a sexual assault.
A forensic nurse program improves long term outcomes among those who have been sexually assaulted; the long-term outcomes include, trauma informed care, treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STI), resources for follow-up care, and emotional support. Additionally, rates of prosecution rise in areas where forensic nursing programs are present and strong.
“Harris Regional Hospital is proud to offer this service to western North Carolina residents, a needed service that is not available outside of Buncombe County. Our forensic nurses allow care closer to home, and even more, provide emotional support during a traumatic experience. This is a significant step towards access to care in our rural communities, and we applaud our nurses and staff for stepping up to offer this service,” said Chris Munton, chief executive officer of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital.
Anyone needing to access a forensic nurse for sexual assault, or anyone with questions about treatment options or resources, call 586-7382 or visit MyHarrisRegional.com.
- Harris Regional Hospital release