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Authors

  1. Belknap, Ruth Ann PhD, APRN, BC

Abstract

The author describes a 2-day immersion course on woman abuse/family violence conducted for undergraduate nursing students. The goals of the course were to assist students in developing a commitment to routine screening, to become comfortable with screening questions, and to build confidence in their ability to respond to women who disclose past or present abuse.

 

Domestic violence is a leading cause of injury to women in the United States. Nurses can anticipate that one third to one half of women with whom they interact will have experienced abuse at some time in their lives. 1 Imminent danger and sequelae of past abuse make screening and intervention important for all women clients.

 

Although routine screening for abuse is recommended, it is not often included in health histories. As restraining factors to routine screening nurses cite discomfort with asking direct questions about abuse, lack of time, feelings of helplessness, and lack of knowledge about abuse. 2-4 This 2-day immersion course for undergraduate nursing students was specifically designed to address these barriers. The goals of this course were to assist students to develop a commitment to asking routine screening questions, to become comfortable with asking screening questions, and to build confidence in their ability to interact with women who disclose past or present abuse.