Child Abuse: Role of Nurses

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 829
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Every child deserves to grow in a healthy environment that can guarantee a high standard of social, mental, and physical development. However, the wellbeing of children can suffer through neglect, mistreatment, and abuse from a quarter of parents/guardians (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). If unchecked, child abuse will lead to an unhealthy society incapable of producing happy, confident, responsible, and talented children (Belsky, 1984). One of the most crucial parties in the society who can help to mitigate the challenge of child abuse includes the nursing profession. Apart from possessing a wide database of knowledge, which can help to detect, and prevent child abuse, nurses can fit into national initiatives designed to mitigate child abuse. Therefore, the capacity for nurses to detect the signs of child abuse is crucial in mitigating the challenge of child abuse in the society (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009).

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Child abuse is a term used to describe a range of behaviors from parents/guardians, which prevent a healthy (physical, mental, social) growth of a child (Tyler, 2006). Child abuse can include physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and economic neglect (Tyler, 2006). It is improper for a parent to engage in activities that degrade the self-esteem of his/her child (Belsky, 1984). As several studies show, the ills of child abuse are many (Belsky, 1984). For example, children who grow up in unhealthy families are more likely to take part in drug abuse, crime, and other social ills than those brought up in healthy families (Belsky, 1984). Besides, children who undergo abusive experiences perform poorly in academics and are less likely to become successful than their counterparts from healthy families (Tyler, 2006). In addition, children who continually undergo abusive experiences are more susceptible to stress, depression, lifestyle diseases, and chronic conditions (Tyler, 2006). Therefore, it is crucial for the government and other parties in the health sector to develop fruitful initiatives, which can use the skills and capacities of strategic professionals, such as nurses, to mitigate the challenge of child abuse (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009).

Moreover, nurses encounter multiple patients while going on with their daily activities; hence, a strategic advantage to detect instances of child abuse. Unlike doctors, nurses spend a considerable amount of their time with patients; hence, a chance to detect the signs for physical, sexual, and emotional abuse among children (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). It is fruitful for nurses to refine their experience/skills for detecting instances of child abuse in the society (to take part in mitigation initiatives). Such a nurse is a useful asset who can help to decrease instances of child abuse within the society (Belsky, 1984).

Multiple initiatives designed to mitigate the challenge of child abuse within the society relies on nurses to detect/report/prevent child abuse; hence, making it mandatory for nurses who take part in such initiatives to refine their capacity for detecting instances of child abuse (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). Initiatives such as the child development initiative and the nurse-family partnership initiative depend on nurses to prevent child abuse (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). Here, nurses use their skills to find instances of child abuse as well as take part in counseling and mitigation initiatives for families (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). Several mitigation initiatives are family based; hence, helping nurses to detect signs that can lead to instances of child abuse in the future (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). Besides, mitigation initiatives targeting sections of the society vulnerable to child abuse relies on the skills of nurses (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009).

Multiple instances of child abuse, such as sexual abuse and physical abuse fall in the class of serious crime; hence, a need for someone to report such instances to concerned authorities (Belsky, 1984). It is always difficult for an abused child to report his/her experience to concerned authorities (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). Nurses who can detect instances of serious child abuse can save a threatened child by reporting such instances to respective authorities (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009). While some signs of serious child abuse are easy to detect, others need a careful observation of multiple elements to develop a conclusive report. Here, nurses are strategically placed to integrate observations such as laboratory reports, emotional reactions, and social behaviors of children; hence, pinpoint instances of serious child abuse (Kimberly & Brooks, 2009).

Every child should grow in an environment that will guarantee his/her physical, emotional, social, and economic development. However, a range of inappropriate behaviors from parents such as neglect, mistreatment, and abuse threaten a healthy development of a child. One of the most crucial parties in the society who can help to mitigate the challenge of child abuse includes the nursing profession. Apart from possessing a wide database of knowledge that can help to detect and prevent child abuse, nurses can fit into national initiatives designed to mitigate child abuse. It is useful for every nurse to refine his/her experience/skills for detecting the signs of child abuse to take part in initiatives designed to mitigate the challenge of child abuse.

Reference List

Belsky, J (1984). The determinants of parenting: A process model Child Development 55 (4), 83–96.

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Kimberly, S. & Brooks, J. (2009) The role of home-visiting initiatives in preventing child abuse and neglect. The Future of Children, 19 (2), 119-37

Tyler, K. (2006) Child neglect: Developmental consequences and intervention Child and Youth Care Forum, 35 (1), 1–20.