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Abuse is not only defined by the act but also by the relationship, which is why abuse comes in many forms and can be perpetrated by anyone (Phelan, 2018) . Types of abuse that can be easily seen are physical and verbal as they leave visible scars. Financial, sexual abuse, and neglect can be hard to spot as the scars may not be visible. As healthcare providers we are trained to pick up on clues that indicate that our patients maybe a victim of these behaviors. A child who suddenly becomes withdrawn maybe a victim of emotional or sexual abuse. An elderly patient receiving social security who is always lacking money for medication or supplies maybe a victim of financial abuse or neglect. While multiple bruises in different stages of healing or burns with defined lines of demarcation maybe a sign of physical abuse.
The policy for my facility is if the nurse suspects neglect, sexual or financial abuse in the case of an adult they are to notify Adult Protective Services and Child protective services in the case of a minor. If rape or physical abuse is suspected the nurse is to notify the police immediately. If the suspected abuser is present we are to attempt to separate them from the patient if possible. If they become violent we are to call a code to enlist the help of security. We are to avoid making accusations against the accused, and we have a duty to exhaust every available option to keep our patients safe.
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