Soldotna Hospital Reduces Forensic Nurse Service

A hospital on the Kenai Peninsula is cutting back on overnight forensic exams because of a shortage of trained nurses.

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by Associated Press

ANCHORAGE- A hospital on the Kenai Peninsula is cutting back on overnight forensic exams because of a shortage of trained nurses. Central Peninsula Hospital's Clinical Forensic Services on Monday stopped offering exams between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. Forensic exams can include investigations of sexual assault, physical abuse of children and adults, or neglect. Program coordinator Colleen James says the hospital has stopped overnight exams until more nurses are trained. James says the Soldotna Hospital once had six nurses trained for the exams but is down to three. She says a forensic nurse will try to respond in a middle-of-the-night crisis if a person has been raped or battered. Homer's South Peninsula Hospital has not had round-the-clock assault exams since 2001.