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Infusing the Principles of Trauma-Informed Care Into Emergency Nursing

A Comprehensive Approach to Change Practice

Cochran, Courtney B. DNP, MSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000267
Original Articles

ABSTRACT The emergency department is a frequent entry point into the healthcare system for victims of violence. Currently, a knowledge deficit and clinical practice gap exists among emergency nurses regarding their consistent ability to implement a trauma-informed approach in their interactions with forensic clients. Emergency nurses at all levels of professional development, senior undergraduate nursing students, new graduate nurses, and experienced nurses should be well informed regarding the prevalence of violence, basic clinical forensic nursing practice, and the principles of trauma-informed care. A comprehensive approach is required to both identify and address the trauma associated with violence. Through reflecting on Benner's Novice to Expert framework, strategies are proposed for the implementation of a comprehensive plan. An inclusive approach to the implementation of the principles of trauma-informed care into emergency nursing may ultimately lead to a transformation in culture in which nurses ask, “What has happened to you?” instead of “What is wrong with you?”

Author Affiliations: College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Auburn University at Montgomery.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Correspondence:Courtney B. Cochran, DNP, MSN, RN, P.O. Box 244023, Montgomery, AL 36124-4023. E-mail:

Received May 1, 2019; accepted for publication September 21, 2019.

© 2019 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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