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 Newswise — University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing Professor Patricia Speck, DNSc, and eight other nursing faculty have contributed their expertise in the areas of domestic abuse, public health, trauma and more to a publication to better prepare professionals across multiple disciplines to respond to cases of child abuse. 

Speck, coordinator of the school’s Master of Science in Nursing advanced forensic nurse subspecialty course and an internationally recognized expert and researcher in forensic nursing in primary care, wrote several chapters and served as senior co-editor of the third edition of the book Child Abuse Quick Reference 3E: For Health Care, Social Service and Law Enforcement Professionals.

The text takes the expertise of the contributors to the local setting, where professionals without experience in the field, such as medical practitioners, social workers, attorneys and law enforcement, are being required more and more to provide real-time responses to child abuse situations. 

“Child Abuse Quick Reference allows the local provider to quickly access the knowledge of our UAB School of Nursing contributors and other professionals recognized as experts in their fields,” Speck said. “The text has a strong evidence base to support policies and procedures in institutions that are being asked more frequently to address child abuse, domestic abuse and other issues at the local level, regardless of the setting or institution. This pocket-sized, easy-to-use quick reference guide will prove invaluable to professionals who identify and work with abused children.”

The revised third edition details new and emerging science for the multidisciplinary response to child abuse, features updated models for its investigation, diagnosis and treatment, and includes three new chapters. 

Other UAB School of Nursing faculty who contributed to the publication include: Assistant Professor Sylvia Britt, Ph.D.; Instructor Karen Coles, DNP; Instructor Melanie Gibbons Hallman, DNP; Assistant Professor Aimee Holland, DNP; Instructor Karmie Johnson, DNP; Assistant Professor Steadman McPeters, DNP; Instructor Shannon Polson, R.N.; and Assistant Professor Sallie Shipman, Ed.D.

“I feel blessed to be around the nursing expertise we have here at the UAB School of Nursing,” Speck said. “The process of sharing knowledge through writing is a challenge, but these faculty took the extra time to meet that challenge. They are to be commended for their efforts in contributing to this impactful project.”

Speck is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and funded researcher who focuses her current funded research on post-coital DNA recovery and health influences of trauma. Her clinical practice occurs globally with local communities and countries experiencing the aftermath of violence. 

She is a former president of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and former chair of the American Public Health Association’s Family Violence Caucus. She currently leads the policy initiative to address human trafficking with members of the American Academy of Nursing Global Expert Panel