As a nurse, you are probably very experienced at interpreting and understanding medical records. As an Advanced Legal Nurse Consultant (ALNC) or Expert of Medical Legal Specialties (EMLS), you learn how to efficiently present the important details of those medical records to an attorney. But, what if the records in a case include a forensic report or autopsy report? Do you think you will be able to interpret that report as effectively as you would with medical records? Can you determine if the forensic evidence was collected correctly? If not, you may be missing some important facts in the case.
In the same way that there are standards of practice for healthcare, there are standards that must be adhered to during a forensic investigation. Deviation from the standards associated with either field can be catastrophic for a case. While the healthcare standards are in place to protect people's lives during medical care, forensic investigation standards are in place to ensure that all evidence is preserved and collected properly after a crime has been committed. Both sets of standards are equally important in their respective fields. Today, forensic evidence plays a huge role in criminal trials. If the evidence is found to be contaminated, it can be deemed inadmissible in court, making a criminal conviction much more difficult.
Some cases that you are hired to review can sometimes include forensic information, such as a crime scene report or autopsy report. If you have the ability to determine if forensic information was collected incorrectly, you will have the ability to expose yet another smoking gun in your attorney's case.
A perfect example would be a case that Veronica (the course creator) worked where the autopsy report exposed some key information in the case. A man was found to have hung himself in his hospital room; however, since Veronica knew what to look for in the autopsy, she was able to point out that the report did not mention any conjunctival or facial petechiae, and the hyoid bone in the neck was intact. Since these hallmarks of hanging deaths were not present, it was indicated that some foul play may have been involved in the death, and that he may have been dead before the patient was found hung. Veronica's discovery provided a direction for further investigation into the patient's death.
Expand your medical and Legal Nurse expertise into the field of forensic investigation so that you can expose more key facts in your cases. Complete The Forensic Workshop to earn your Forensic Criminal Evidence Analyst (FCEA) certification and gain the forensic expertise you need for your ALNC or EMLS practice.
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