Nursing and Child Abuse

Nursing and Child Abuse

Introduction

Child abuse is an aspect, which has potential issues on the overall development and growth of children. It is imperative that nurses, while in their practice, be involved in recognition of child abuse cases and rendering measures to avert these cases as well as improving the outcomes for the vulnerable children. The purpose of this paper is to examine the case scenario involving Emma, a three-month-old young girl, and study the well-being and development of the girl, the risks of abuse that may be evident and their potential impact on her health.

Potential Impact of Abuse of Infant in Regards to Development and Wellbeing

Maltreatment of children in their infancy has been shown to have adverse effects on the development of their child, especially in their cognitive and brain development, and attachment issues. According to Harper, Feldman, Sugar, Anderst, Lindberg, and Examining Siblings to Recognize Abuse Investigators. (2014), the infants are not capable of defending themselves, and hence all their activities are done for them by their caregivers. One of the primary negative impacts is that their mental and intellectual mindset is affected and, in the long term growth, these children are bound to be affected by health problems, mental disorders, and even substance addiction.

According to Flaherty, Perez-Rossello, Levine, Hennrikus, and American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. (2014), the infants, under the cases of being maltreated and abused, are faced with fear and thus as they develop and grow, they become detached from people due to the fear they have that they an action may be undertaken on them. Moreover, in the development, these children may learn to be aggressive and violent due to continually being abused, and hence they learn from the actions they see from their caregivers. According to Sheets, Leach, Koszewski, Lessmeier, Nugent, and Simpson, (2013), the infants growing under the abusive conditions may end up being violent in schools and with other children since they have learned that violence is more of a healthy activity in their growing stages.

Factors Indicating Abuse

In the case of Emma, after the examination, various factors can be selected to depict the abuse of the child. One of the factors is that she is hard to rouse which indicated that the child had not been having enough sleep. This is evident also because she was not able to remain awake when her vital signs were being taken. Another factor that may show the child was being abused is that within her torso she had bruises which were oval shaped as well as some bruises within her occiput.

The explanation of Jamie concerning the oval shaped bruises on the back of her head does not suffice because if the child were to roll off the couch, then the bruises would not be an oval shape. Moreover, for the child to have such bruises within the torso, then she should be having clear indications within the head such as bumps due to the impact of the fall. From a nursing perspective, these bruises may be from pinching of a child especially due to their shape. Therefore, Jamie’s explanation, being vague and not sufficing as proof of the child rolling off the couch, then there is evidence that the child has been facing abuse from the caregivers.

Professional Responsibilities if abuse is suspected

With the above indicators to show there may be a possibility of abuse of the infant, there is a need for professional activates to be undertaken for the issue to be solved. According to Congress, (2017), it is important first to be sure of the suspected case of abuse for the child, and this would involve consulting colleagues and further examination of the caregivers of the infant on the alleged abuse. However, taking to the caregivers, who in this case are the parents, should only be done if there is belief that the safety of the child will not be jeopardized. When substantive information about the abuse of the child, then it is important to report the issue to the child protection of the institution’s management for further accountability (Christian, & Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. 2015).

According to Pietrantonio, Wright, Gibson, Alldred, Jacobson, and Niec, (2013), reporting the matter to the child protection is important and is the role of the nurse since they are responsible for maintaining safety for the infants especially if there are cases of abuse of the child. The reports submitted to the child protection should have a clear description of the indicators of abuse, the information of their family, the information on the impact of the abuse on the child and the possible reasons for the abuse.

Conclusion

Maltreatment of children in their infancy has been shown to have adverse effects on the development of their child, especially in their cognitive and brain development, and attachment issues. One of the factors indicating abuse in Emma’s situation is that she is hard to rouse which reported that the child had not been having enough sleep. Another factor that may show the child was being abused is that within her torso she had bruises which were oval shaped as well as some bruises within her occiput. The nurse is responsible for reporting the matter to the child protection department of the institution for the matter to be considered in detail and interventions to be made.

References

Christian, C. W., & Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. (2015). The evaluation of suspected child physical abuse. Pediatrics135(5), e1337-e1354. From http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/135/5/e1337.full

Congress, E. P. (2017). What social workers should know about ethics: Understanding and resolving practice dilemmas. Social Work Ethics, 1909. From https://advancesinsocialwork.iupui.edu/index.php/advancesinsocialwork/article/download/124/107

Flaherty, E. G., Perez-Rossello, J. M., Levine, M. A., Hennrikus, W. L., & American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. (2014). Evaluating children with fractures for child physical abuse. Pediatrics133(2), e477-e489. From http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/133/2/e477.long

Harper, N. S., Feldman, K. W., Sugar, N. F., Anderst, J. D., Lindberg, D. M., & Examining Siblings to Recognize Abuse Investigators. (2014). Additional injuries in young infants with concern for abuse and apparently isolated bruises. The Journal of pediatrics165(2), 383-388. From https://heartlandforchildren.org/uploads/files/2014%20Harper%20Pubform.pdf

Pietrantonio, A. M., Wright, E., Gibson, K. N., Alldred, T., Jacobson, D., & Niec, A. (2013). Mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect: Crafting a positive process for health professionals and caregivers. Child abuse & neglect37(2), 102-109. From http://www.academia.edu/download/45724736/j.chiabu.2012.12.00720160517-17081-f587ad.pdf

Sheets, L. K., Leach, M. E., Koszewski, I. J., Lessmeier, A. M., Nugent, M., & Simpson, P. (2013). Sentinel injuries in infants evaluated for child physical abuse. Pediatrics131(4), 701-707. From http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/4/701.full

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