Doctors and nurses train to recognize early signs of domestic abuse

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Local health providers want to do their part in helping victims of domestic violence as part of Mercyhealth’s annual health conference, which was held at the Radisson Hotel in Rockford on Tuesday.

A maternal violence expert from Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago spoke about how doctors and nurses can identify patients who are domestic abuse victims.

Their role is to connect the victims to resources and help so they can escape from their abuser.

“The first interaction that most families have with the hospital is through childbirth, or when their child is ill,” Linn Carter, the System Director of Women and Children’s Services, said. “These are the nurses who can pick up on these things early in the process and can hopefully help direct that family to help and resources.”

Carter says that health care providers are trained to ask specific questions that allow them to determine if their patient is being abused.

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