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A Case Report of Historical Trauma Among American Indians on a Rural Northern Plains Reservation

Heckert, Wende RN, MSN, MFS, DNP, APRN-NP; Eisenhauer, Christine PhD, CNE, APRN-CNS, PHCNS-BC

Journal of Forensic Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000028
Case Report

ABSTRACT: This case report describes historical trauma on a rural American Indian reservation and outlines participatory action approaches for nurses. The prevalence of historical trauma often goes unnoticed by healthcare professionals because of its multifaceted nature and subsequent lack of provider understanding. Nurses accustomed to looking only for physical and psychosocial signs of trauma may not specifically understand how to align significant historical trauma events with prevention, education, and healthcare delivery. Nursing interventions developed through participatory action and directed at individual, family, and community levels of care are most effective in treating and preventing cumulative effects of historical trauma.

Author Information

Author Affiliation: University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing-Northern Division.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Wende Heckert, RN, MSN, MFS, DNP, APRN-NP, J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing Building, 801 E. Benjamin Avenue, Norfolk, NE 68701. E-mail:

Received March 18, 2014; accepted for publication March 31, 2014.

© 2014 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.

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