Gail is widely published author and presenter. In the 2014 NAPNAP Annual Conference, she shared findings from a national survey on The Role of Advanced Practice Nursing in Child Maltreatment.
Networking with others is a big part of what SIGs can offer! In the Child Maltreatment and Neglect SIG, I’m working with members on a collaborative research project regarding corporal punishment. We are evaluating learning attitudes before and after educational intervention and examining behavioral influences. We look forward to sharing our presentation with health care organizations soon.
For 24 years, I’ve worked in a hospital-based child advocacy program called the Center for Family Safety & Healing (formerly called a Child Abuse Program). When PNP positions became available, I fell into the role. I was as an RN at a children’s hospital for 13 years, where I worked in a variety of in-patient units. Throughout that time, the NP role was in growing demand until it exploded in the 1990s. I entered a PNP completion program and obtained my DNP, I now have twenty years of practice as a CPNP.
In the beginning, I didn’t understand trauma and its effects on children. Through my work and research, I’m now better able to educate patients and families, as well as my fellow and future health care providers. I firmly believe that health care providers should be better equipped to identify traumas, and develop interventions to address them and heal children from exposure.
The center I work at is staffed by a multidisciplinary team, including health care providers, two units from Child Protection Services, a Special Victims Unit of the Police Department and an onsite attorney. We offer trauma-focused therapy programs and also focus on issues of domestic violence. On a typical day I’m in one or both of our clinics.
The clinics are divided into an assessment unit for physical and sexual abuse, where we work closely with social workers, including a forensic interviewer and mental health specialist. The second clinic is called Fostering Connections and is a primary care clinic for children in foster care. Some of my time is spent in the ER working with sexual assault nurse examiners and reviewing their work. I’m also allowed administrative time for research or academic projects. For instance, I’m writing the IRB to look at forensic evidence collection in adolescent sexual abuse/assault, and I’m looking at child sexual abuse re-victimization.
My work is ongoing and some things may seem insurmountable as we get started, but we make progress by setting one goal at a time.
Learn more about Child Maltreatment & Neglect SIG.