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Professional Certificate in Forensic Nursing

Course schedule subject to change

In-Person

Online

H Hybrid

Required (14 units)
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Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

Introduction to Forensic Science in Healthcare Settings

This course examines the basic principles and techniques of forensic sciences. Topics include the roles and responsibility of collection and preservation of evidence at crime scenes and in the emergency department. The steps involved in the medico-legal investigation of injury and death, beginning at the crime scene and extending through judicial proceedings, are detailed using an extensive collection of slides and case presentations. This course is designed for health care providers, law enforcement and emergency services personnel and others with interests in forensic sciences.

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3 units

Forensic Approaches to Blunt Force and Firearm Injuries

This course examines injuries incurred from vehicular trauma, stabbings and firearms and other assaults. Emphasis is on recognition and preservation of vital forensic evidence from the victim and within the hospital or emergency department. The principles of injury mechanics and ballistics are illustrated with laboratory findings and case studies of victims. Common omissions and errors in injury assessment and death investigation are discussed.

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2 units

Crime Scene Preservation and Death Investigation in Health Care Settings

This course explores the essential factors of crime scene preservation and application of forensic principles, especially the techniques used by forensic scientists to recognize and manage evidence within healthcare settings. Among main topics are personnel duties at the crime scene, evidence management, evidence categories and roles and responsibilities of a clinical forensic nurse. The course also provides an introduction to psychological profiling and personality assessment of perpetrators and includes illustrated case studies focusing on important medico-legal aspects.

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1 units

Occupational Considerations in Forensic Nursing

Occupational injuries and work-related deaths are examined in terms of their medicolegal aspects. Topics include arson, burns, smoke inhalation, exposure to toxic fumes and chemicals, transportation catastrophes and other industrial accidents that have forensic implications. Special emphasis is placed on the forensic assessment processes required of the forensic nurse in mass casualty management, dealing with workplace terrorism and hostage scenarios, and post-crisis interviewing of survivors and responders.

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2 units

Forensic Photography in the Healthcare Setting

This course will introduce students to basic forensic photography theory and practice. Emphasis is placed upon the key components of high-quality and valuable images that can withstand legal scrutiny and assist investigators with documentation and interpretation of findings at a scene or on a body.

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1 units

Forensic Approaches to Human Abuse Injuries

This course explores physical injury findings from crimes against individuals.  We will discuss factors that will enhance evidence collection and preservation, improve documentation and photography, and the use of differential diagnosis for considering causes for injury findings, including sexual assault and abuse. The course will assist in distinguishing accidental, medical, and hygiene findings from intentional injury. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, and other conditions are addressed. Legal aspects of injury reporting and the investigation of suspected cases of human abuse are explored.

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2 units

Sworn Testimony for the Healthcare Specialist

The basic purpose of using sworn testimony is to assure that the information provided is truthful and as correct as possible, and presented in a manner that is objective, fair and accurate. This course reviews sworn expert testimony in the legal system with a focus on declarations, depositions and courtroom testimony, and the differences between each of these.  It is designed as a practical guide to being a successful expert witness.  The roles of "fact witnesses" and "expert witnesses" are explored. The scope and purpose of expert testimony, preparation for testimony, and practice pointers for presenting effective testimony are discussed.

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2 units

Forensic Approaches to Mental Health and Domestic Violence

Explore the roles of forensic science in mental health and how associated risk factors for domestic violence impact health care, law enforcement, and judicial systems. Basic tenets of mental health assessment and intervention with victims and perpetrators are examined. Also discussed are victimology theory, social and cultural values, and research findings that serve as a basis for establishing appropriate preventive and interventional programs within communities.

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1 units

Elective (2 units)
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Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

Introduction to Forensic Pathology for Health Care Specialists

This course examines the evolution of the present-day forensic pathologist and the role(s) he/she plays in implementing the statutes mandated by law. Discussions include the physical changes occurring to the body upon and after death and how these changes impact determination of the cause, manner and mechanism of death. Law enforcement investigation, autopsy and after-death body care are explored.

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2 units

Sexual Assault Examination Training: Adult/Adolescent

This comprehensive online course prepares qualified health care professionals to perform forensic evaluations of adult and adolescent, male and female sexual assault victims. Topics include medical assessment of injuries, forensic terminology, DNA, forensic wound identification, collection and preservation of forensic specimens, toluidine blue dye staining, Wood's lamp use, photography, chain of custody procedures, the suspect forensic examination, law enforcement investigation processes, advocate crisis intervention, documentation, and preparation for court testimony.

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4 units

Medical Ethics (Formerly titled: Clinical Ethics)

Impact of ethics on clinical decision making, treatment choices and a patient's clinical outcome; the effective tools to help manage a variety of clinical situations, conflicts and cases; and life-and-death issues now being encountered in the increasingly complex health care system.

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2 units

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