In order to assess a patient’s abuse potential, I will use a variety of strategies. These include a thorough physical exam to detect any signs of harm, a private conversation with the patient to discuss the incident in question, and a review of medical records to find any information that could corroborate their story or contradict it. In this way, I am able to gather the most information possible without endangering anyone.
It’s important to also remember that victims of abuse may or may not want to disclose the incident. Using approaches like non-judgmental inquiry and giving people space to freely talk can build trust. I am also a firm believer in providing support, such as the referral to therapy that could help people cope with trauma. Let’s face it, by using these strategies to ensure victims that they are heard as well as providing the necessary resources for them to start their healing process.