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Violence Education in Nursing: Critical Reflection on Victims' Stories

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Nursing Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: 2008 Pages: 12-18
Angela Frederick Amar R.N., Ph.D.
Date Published
7 pages
This paper describes an educational strategy to increase nursing students' understanding of the experience of violence and to foster recognition and intervention with victims of violence.
Findings indicated that the teaching strategy was effective in helping students to understand the experience of someone who lived through trauma; students evaluated the course and its assignments highly, with the overall course evaluation being 4.5/5. The teaching strategy can be used in undergraduate education to assist nurses in the identification of and successful intervention with women who have experienced violence. The identification of course content with a personal story made learning more meaningful and helped students to incorporate the knowledge into their personal belief system and professional practice; although the personal story in this case was rape, other crimes can easily be used. Students in the elective course were asked to critically reflect on the effect that the personal stories of victims/survivors had upon them. The story used was a memoir, “Lucky”, by Alice Sebold which recounts the details of her brutal rape and beating in her first year of college as well as her journey to recovery over numerous years. The assignment provided for learning opportunities that included examination of societal myths of sexual victimization, understanding the experience of the victim, exploration of personal beliefs and values, and the relationship of the individual's experience to the theoretical content of the course. Future work should include psychometric evaluation of teaching strategies to determine the best educational practices to provide nursing students the essential content on working with victims of violence. Details of the course content are provided. References