A Narrative on How to Use Diagrams for Forensic Nursing
By Valerie Sievers MSN, RN, CNS, SANE-A, SANE-P, DF-ARN
Accurate, thorough, and consistent documentation is an essential competency for healthcare professionals who provide care to patients who have been affected by violence and crime. Poor or absent documentation in cases requiring a forensic healthcare response can adversely affect legal outcomes. Standardized body diagrams are typically used in addition to photography for documentation in cases of sexual assault, domestic violence, strangulation, child maltreatment, elder abuse, and human trafficking.
Diagrams and body maps allow for visual placement of injuries, so anyone reviewing a medical record can see the locations of injuries, wounds, o