November 24, 2014

Mercy Medical Center nurse recognized for forensic nursing excellence

The International Association of Forensic Nurses recently recognized Mercy Medical Center nurse Shawanna Musick-Eckert for forensic nursing excellence for the second year in a row. Musick-Eckert serves as the hospital’s SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) coordinator and a community educator. Musick-Eckert was nominated by her peers for the honor.

Forensic nurses are the first responders to victims of physical, psychological, social violence and/or abuse. First and foremost, they provide nursing care. After attending to a patient’s immediate medical needs, a forensic nurse often collects evidence, provides medical testimony in court, and consults with legal authorities.

Musick-Eckert was nominated for her outstanding work in providing comprehensive medical care and evidence collection for survivors of assault and for providing essential training for professionals in the local community regarding sexual assault, intimate partner violence and human trafficking. She provides care and services with patience and respect and ensures that the patient environment remains dignified to the best of her ability.

“Our patients may not have injuries like a sprained ankle that I can ‘fix’,” said Musick-Eckert. “They have mental scars from being a survivor of a crime that I can never fully understand.” When asked why she stays in the field of forensics, she said, “I stay in forensics for the victims who have no voice without me and the possibility that I can truly make a difference in our community.”

In 2011, Musick-Eckert and Mercy Medical Center partnered with the Domestic Violence Project, Inc. to provide comprehensive medical care, evidence collection, safety planning and supportive options to survivors of domestic violence in need of specialized assistance. This collaboration was the first of its kind in Stark County and has increased survivors’ access to medical services while minimizing safety risks. She has been instrumental in moving victim services forward for Mercy Medical Center and Stark County.

Mercy Medical Center is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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