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Keywords

Child abuse, Nurse/patient relationships, Telemedicine

 

Authors

  1. FOSTER, PATRICIA H. EDD, RN
  2. WHITWORTH, J. M. MD

Abstract

Telemedicine allowed for imaging and videoconferencing between staff at a medical center hub and registered nurses who performed child abuse examinations at community hospitals. By means of electronic communication and information technology, a network was designed to facilitate the examination of children at distant locations when abuse was suspected. Telemedicine provided for expert consultation, rapid evaluation, response to community needs, and an expanded role for nurses. This anecdotal evaluation explored the experience from the view of the registered nurses and an advanced registered nurse practitioner who participated in the telemedicine network. Findings indicated that nurses went through phases of adjustments while becoming familiar with the information technology, cameras, and setup while focusing on the needs of the children and their own responses. Telemedicine nurses were able to draw upon their clinical backgrounds in caring for children and apply their knowledge and skills when assessing victims of abuse. On the basis of interviews and observation, it was concluded that telecommunication did not interfere with the nurse-patient relationship.