supporting student nurses to recognise and respond to family violence

Posted on 16th April 2021
family violence

cohealth’s Family Violence team is helping the next generation of nurses to feel more confident to respond to family violence by giving them support and training during their placement at cohealth.

The Enhanced Pathways to Family Violence Work is a Victorian Government project that assists specialist and non-specialist community service organisations to develop and transition students and new workers to family violence roles.

As part of the Enhanced Pathways to Family Violence Work, our Family Violence Counsellor Nicole Reading is working with nine student nurses who are on placement at cohealth, introducing them to family violence practice and helping them understand how they can be part of the family violence response.

During the one-on-one sessions over their two-week placement, Nicole helps the student nurses understand what family violence is, the signs and symptoms, how it might be seen in nursing, how to ask questions of patients, and where to refer women for help.

The Enhanced Pathways to Family Violence Work program also aims to deliver a pipeline of new workers into family violence roles.

“All community health workers play an important role in identifying and responding to family violence,” said Maryse Premier, cohealth’s Family Services and Family Violence program facilitator.

“Nurses are often working with women who are coming in to get pap smears or seeking prenatal care or interacting with mums during appointments with their children.

Nurses have a unique perspective and build intimate relationships with patients. They can look for signs of family violence, and our training gives them the confidence to know how to respond appropriately,” said Maryse.

“We know that when women are pregnant or have a new baby, they are particularly at risk of family violence. These are times when primary care practitioners have a great deal of interaction with women, so there is the opportunity to pick up red flags.

“Also, as women age, they become more vulnerable to violence and elder abuse, so this is another key time in the life when interactions with GPs and nurses is key.”

“We are so pleased to be helping to build the capacity of the service workforce to play a role in building a future where all people live free of violence. We all have a part to play,” said Maryse.

if you are experiencing family violence, support is available.
if you are in immediate danger, call 000

Free 24 hour, crisis support and suicide prevention services.
Call 13 11 14

Free 24 hour, sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service.
Call 1800 737 732

Kids Helpline
Free 24 hour, private and confidential phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25
Call 1800 55 1800

Free 24 hour help, support, referrals & counselling services for men via telephone, online and video.
Call 1300 78 99 78

Free 24 hour family violence support.
Call 1800 015 188

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