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Kansas Association of Nursing Students Hosts Virtual Q and A with Forensics Nurse

Many students entering a field of study may have questions about the reality of and experience of a certain job or specialization in an area. Some organizations provide opportunities for students to gain an insight on various career paths within a field. On March 4, at 4:00 p.m. the Kansas Association of Nursing Students (KANS) hosted a virtual discussion/question and answer session with Becky Finke, a registered forensics nurse from Kansas City. Finke currently works for Advent Health’s Forensics Assessment Consultation Team (FACT) and as a nurse navigator at Research Medical Center and Belton Regional Medical Center. 

Kali Clingerman, a senior nursing student and primary contact for KANS, said Finke was chosen to speak as part of a ‘Nursing Q and A’ series. 

“We have a series going on that we call our ‘Nursing Q and A’ series,” Clingerman said. “So, we bring in a lot of nurses to talk to students about their jobs. That way students are exposed to various nursing jobs. Forensics nursing is not really well known, so it presents a unique experience. We decided to try and find a forensics nurse and Becky reached out to me, so she was able to come and speak to everybody about (her job).” 

Finke spent the hour-long discussion telling attendees about the rigors of life as a forensics nurse and  

about the types of training students might require in order to enter the profession. She also fielded questions by students throughout the presentation about the types of nurses within her program and some of the specific procedures Finke conducts while at work. 

“We have a computer in the hospital that has a list of questions,” Finke said in response to a question  

about the technology she uses for her work. “It can be anywhere from ‘has the patient taken a shower’ to a strangulation piece where, if you click ‘yes,’ it has a list of strangulation questions. If it’s a bite wound, if you click ‘yes’ for a bite wound, it has a whole list of questions for that, so it’s very, very specific. The other really cool thing that (the computer) has is body maps. We take pictures (of the patient’s wounds) and we scroll through those pictures so we can draw the injury on the body maps, and then based on rather (the subject) is male or female it pulls up the proper body maps (for the patient).” 

Online presentations like this one were created in response to the lack of in-person meetings available  

due to the current world-wide pandemic.  

Barbara McClaskey, a professor in the nursing program at PSU and the faculty advisor for KANS, said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the events KANS can host, while also opening opportunities for a variety of speakers like Becky Finke. 

“Like so many activities, COVID has affected the KANS organization,” McClaskey said. “Our local  

organization has done an outstanding job of holding informative meetings by Zoom with excellent participation. We have been able to hear from a greater variety of professionals. We have also had more freshmen and sophomores join by Zoom than we typically had attend our face-to-face meetings as those often conflicted with other classes.” 

Clingerman said there is a particular event that the students of KANS are excited about. 

“We plan on making first aid kits for the Family Resource Center,” Clingerman said. “We’re  

putting together band-aids, Neosporin, just big first aid kits for some of the kids at the Family Resource Center with Red Cross information and disaster preparedness like tornado safety.” 

KANS is scheduled to have a couple more question and answer presentations throughout the rest of the  

semester. The first, currently scheduled online for Friday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m., is a presentation by a lactation consultant. The second, currently scheduled online for Friday, April 23 at 1:00 p.m., features a nurse anesthesiologist. Further information on both of these upcoming presentations or on the KANS organization in general can be accessed through the Gorilla Engage system. 

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