· Patients of any age, gender, cultural background or socio-economic status can be victims of violence. Consider a patient population you are currently working with or have worked with in the past. For what type of violence might they be at risk? What are some related findings that might alert you to investigate further? I currently work with the geriatric population and elderly abuse is the type of abuse we see. In-home health specifically I have seen more of the abandonment/neglect form of elderly abuse. Financial abuse from family members taking their money, sitter companies charging additional fees, etc is a big one seen in home health. I also have seen where a patient of mine will get offers for random things and then receive a bill because they aren’t able to understand what to do with a few random iPhones showing up in their mailbox. Our elderly patients receive a ton of solicitation calls and people asking them for their information. It’s difficult to protect them when they are home alone and you aren’t able to monitor all calls and then add dementia to them and it’s even harder. I have personally arrived at one of my regular patients that has Alzheimer and she was super upset pacing around and talking really fast. Turns out the daughter that lives a few streets over and is responsible for bringing groceries to the patient decided not to that week because she was “busy”. I consulted our social worker and she evaluated the patient and was able to have Meals on Wheels and another program started where we can ensure the patient has food. The social worker began her case for elderly abuse at that time and spoke with the daughter as well who has been doing much better now.
· Screening for signs of violence and abuse is a part of patient health history assessments. Have you observed the questions being asked by nurses or have you asked them to patients? Do you believe these screenings are typically completed in detail? Explain your answer. I have witnessed questions being asked by a therapist while working in the school setting as their nurse. I feel like she did good with asking questions that were listed and asked the questions word for word of what was listed, but I didn’t feel like she really watched the patient’s nonverbals and responded appropriately. She took the patient for what she said and it was a lot of yes or no questions vs more detailed things. This assessment appeared to make it easier for a patient to lie or hide things or even feel like the person asking the questions isn’t interested in the answers.