SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah – When a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault comes to the family justice center in Salt Lake City – Kristin Hall wants to make sure they get help.
“They’re there because they went through something horrific. So, you’re there to offer that first step into moving forward.”
Her real job is a registered nurse working in the ER, but she coordinates the forensic nursing efforts at the Family Justice Center.
“We do documentation as well as evidence collection to support the criminal process.”
For Kristin its about being there for those involved in a horrible crime and making sure they have evidence to get justice down the road.
“They are in control of the entire process whether it is a sexual assault examine or a strangulation examine or domestic violence exam. We are offering them the evidence that they need so they can pursue their case.”
She loves the mixture of nursing and forensics but says she accidentally fell into.
“Honestly, I took the job as a way to make extra money and I didn’t think I would like it as much as I did and it became, really, my calling in life.”
She says its emotional to see victims of violence but says when dealing with evidence – she and other forensic nurses have to be neutral.
“We are a non-biased entity that are there to document injury and collect evidence to support the criminal justice process as a whole.”
You have to keep your emotions in check and stay behind that clinical line.
Kristin says most people will never know the time and emotion forensic nurses put in, but she adds – that’s not why they do it.
“Even though we don’t get the recognition that some other professions do its satisfying knowing that you actually made a difference in someone’s life.”
For the past 9 months, Kristin Hall has been working on a pilot program to help train first responders. It teaches them more advanced investigation techniques for people who may have been strangled during an assault.
Hall says the issue is now being taken more seriously in Utah and she hopes the program will be implemented by the first of the year.
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