Background: Emergency department (ED) personnel frequently encounter incidents related to crime, violence, and suspicious injuries. The aim of this descriptive study was to determine the knowledge levels of ED healthcare personnel in their handling of frequently encountered forensic cases.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study composed of ED healthcare personnel at all state, education and research, and university hospitals with EDs, located in Ankara, Turkey, was completed. Participants at the 15 hospitals in question were interviewed via a questionnaire developed by the researchers.
Results: Three hundred fifty healthcare personnel who worked agreed to participate in the study. The results show that ED healthcare personnel have less knowledge than expected of the right way to handle frequently encountered forensic cases. Very few of the healthcare professionals who participated in the study had received any training or education in the field of forensic nursing. Among participants, postgraduates, health professionals educated in forensic nursing, and healthcare staff who used additional resources to understand forensic cases, and those who had evaluated cases that presented to the ED as forensic cases, had significantly higher levels of knowledge.
Implications: This study supports the need for professional development in forensic nursing, such as in-service training, and curriculum development for a certificate in forensic nursing to enhance the practical training of healthcare professionals who work in EDs.