Early Recognition of Child Physical Abuse: An Overview for Emergency Nurses and Healthcare Providers

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Child physical abuse is a significant public health problem in the United States. Studies show emergency healthcare providers (HCPs) do not sufficiently or consistently screen children for abuse due to lack of knowledge or confidence in screening for and detecting child physical abuse. This can result in missed cases of abuse. If abuse goes undetected, the child's risk for subsequent re-injury and death increases significantly - as high as 50%.
The purpose of this presentation is to increase early recognition of child physical abuse by emergency nurses and other emergency healthcare providers. The presentation will provide a brief overview of child physical abuse, detail the risk factors and red flags for physical abuse, review suspicious childhood injuries that are concerning for physical abuse, introduce the Escape instrument as a validated tool to screen children for physical abuse, and discuss the essential elements that are required for documentation of suspected child physical abuse. Participants will have the opportunity to apply the Escape instrument to multiple case studies to ensure accurate understanding of the questions and interpretation of the screening results.
Additionally, an example screening protocol will be reviewed to promote formalized screening programs in all healthcare facilities.
Presenter: Sheri M. Carson, DNP, RN, CPN, CPNP-PC
Learner Outcome(s): Upon completion of this course, you will be able to identify common risk factors, “red flags”, and injuries suspicious for child physical abuse. Demonstrate proper use of the Escape Instrument to screen for child physical abuse in the emergency department.
Disclosure: The planners and presenters of this course have no conflicts of interest. Learners will be awarded 1.0 CNE contact hour upon complete review of the course, completion of the quiz, and submitting an evaluation. Course expires 1/31/2023.
Technical Requirements:
Windows: Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version) 
Mac: Safari (latest version), Google Chrome (latest version) 
HTML5 Windows: Google Chrome (latest version), Safari (latest version)
Mobile: Safari (latest version) in Apple, Google Chrome (latest version) in Android 
Accredited Provider Logo
The Emergency Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Provider Unit No. P0232
The Emergency Nurses Association is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #2322.

  • Contact Hour: 1.0
  • Expiration Date: 1/31/2023

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