Forensic Nurse Examiner Program
Sexual assault and physical violence are frightening and traumatic experiences. Seeking care after an assault should not be. The Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at UnityPoint Health – Meriter provides a supportive environment where victims receive medical attention and emotional care.
Our specially trained nurses help survivors through the initial shock of their ordeal, gather medical evidence for law enforcement and offer a sense of dignity to patients of all ages. Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, within the Emergency Department at UnityPoint Health – Meriter hospital. The Forensic Nurse Examiner Program is the only program of its kind in Dane County and serves many counties in southern Wisconsin.
The Goal of the Program
Forensic nurses are involved in more than 600 exams and consultations every year. The goal of the program is to minimize trauma by offering services in one place. Survivors of assault receive compassionate care and advice on the next steps toward recovery:
- Emotional support
- Physical examination and wellness check
- Collection of medical forensic evidence
- Assistance with reporting the crime to police, when requested (mandatory reporting for children)
- Development of a medical follow-up and safety plan
Meriter's Forensic Nurse Examiner Program collaborates with physicians, law enforcement and the Dane County Rape Crisis Center in cases that involve:
- Sexual assault
- Domestic violence
- Elder abuse
- Child physical abuse
- Suspect examination for evidence
This program is a valuable resource for our community as well as the region. Your support helps provide compassionate care to those suffering from sexual and violent assault.