The Forensic Nursing Team is nationally recognized for their innovative treatment of survivors of assault. Providing care for both the physical and emotional healing of crime victims, these specially educated nurses continue to play a role beyond the walls of the hospital, testifying in court as expert witnesses and providing education to other healthcare professionals, law enforcement agencies and victim advocacy groups.

Forensic Nurse Response Team

The Forensic Nurse Response Team is a specialized group of registered nurses that provides comprehensive care 24 hours a day to patients experiencing interpersonal violence issues.

This unique service began in 1992 as an adult sexual assault nurse examiner program. It was revitalized in 2001 to provide nurses who respond to all victims of crime, including physically and sexually abused children.

This team provides care onsite at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Memorial Hermann Southwest as well as through a mobile unit to other hospitals throughout the Memorial Hermann system able to support seven area counties.

Forensic nurse examiners:

  • Provide comprehensive care to patients with interpersonal violence issues (sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child sexual and/or physical abuse and random violence )
  • Demonstrate competency in conducting a medical/forensic exam
  • Have the ability to testify in a court of law as an expert witness

For more information, contact the Forensic Nurse Response Team at (713) 704-1261.

About Forensic Exams

The Forensic Nursing Unit follows a detailed process of evaluation to provide comprehensive and timely service. This process involves four steps: a thorough evaluation by the triage nurse; a full medical screening exam; office registration process; a complete forensic exam by a forensic nurse.

Step 1

During the initial evaluation, the triage nurse determines the reason for the patient's visit, obtains vital signs and documents medical history.

The nurse makes sure police have been notified. If the patient has not reported the incident to the police, the triage nurse can call. Reporting does not mean that a patient must proceed with the investigation, but police must be notified in order for evidence to be collected.

Even if police are not notified, a patient will receive medical treatment, with priority being determined by medical need.

Step 2

Your medical screening exam will be performed by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. This exam ensures your medical needs are met and any injuries requiring medical attention are addressed.

Step 3

Registration with the medical staff requires basic information including name, date of birth, address, phone number and insurance information.

A person does not need insurance to receive treatment. If treated by the forensic nurse, that portion of the exam will be paid for by the law enforcement agency that requested the examination. Other medical expenses will be billed to patient or patient's insurance.

Step 4

During a forensic nurse exam, the process and procedure will be explained, with consent required from the patient. After taking a detailed history, the examiner will complete a forensic assessment and document injuries and condition.

Forensic evidence will be collected for processing by law enforcement, and any preventive medication will be administered. The patient will also receive referral numbers or social services consult as needed.

Forensic Nursing Services

The Forensic Nurse Response Team provides services specific to the evaluation of those affected by interpersonal violence issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, child sexual and/or physical abuse and random violence.

  • Acute medical/forensic examinations of child, adolescent and adult sexual assault and domestic violence victims
  • Availability 24 hours a day
  • State-of-the-art examination and evidence preservation techniques
  • Colposcopic identification and documentation of trauma
  • Photo-documentation
  • Suspect examinations
  • Child Abuse Review and Evaluation (C.A.R.E.) Team
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Professional education
  • Community awareness

Outreach With Multidisciplinary Agencies

Mobile Forensic Unit

The Memorial Hermann Mobile Forensic Unit is designed to bring quicker care to sexual assault victims while improving the integrity of DNA and other evidence. The team is able to cover greater Houston and surrounding seven-county area.

The unit, a sport utility vehicle equipped with advanced medical technology, is staffed by specially trained forensic nurses on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It was funded through the efforts of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center volunteers, who raised more than $46,000.

When summoned by law enforcement, a forensic nurse will immediately drive the specialized unit to hospitals throughout the Memorial Hermann Health System that do not provide forensic services.

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Forensic Nurse Response Team at (713) 704-1261.