The Dodge City Community College (DC3) Nursing program was visited Monday, April 18, by Capt. Colleen Brooks of the Dodge City Police Department, who spoke with students about the topic of sexual assault awareness.
Brooks, who is a 22-year veteran of the police force, has overseen investigations on homicide, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault.
“Medical providers are in a unique position that allows them to intervene in situations in which their patients may need help,” Brooks said. “Many times people will share more information with a medical provider, than they would with police.”
Brooks spoke to DC3 nursing students on how they are vital in treating domestic violence victims, child abuse victims, and victims of sexual assault. Brooks showed the students signs of abuse and how to document the victim’s injuries for law enforcement.
“Given the nature of their work, medical providers may see injuries on patients’ bodies that would be otherwise hidden,” Brooks said. “This gives them the opportunity to start a dialogue with patients about what is going on in their life – and hopefully get them some help.”
Jennifer Lix, DC3 Professor of Nursing, said that with April being sexual assault awareness month, this was a great time for Brooks to come shine a light on these types of issues that future nurses are likely to see.
“The information Capt. Brooks provided the students with will assist them in caring for victims that they are likely to encounter through their work as a nurse,” Lix said. “It allows the nurse to have a better understanding of what these victims may have been through and in turn will help our students as practicing nurses to provide a higher-level of compassionate care to the victims.”
Brooks, a highly acclaimed captain on the police force, has completed 242 forensic interviews of children, has investigated hundreds of domestic violence disputes, and has been involved in more than 600 sexual assault investigations.
“Capt. Brooks teaches these courses on a national level to law enforcement and medical professionals,” Lix said. “She plays an integral part in advocating for victims through her work with Dodge City Police Department and as a member of our local Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). I consider the Dodge City Community College nursing program extremely fortunate that she continues to make time for us each year.”
The presentation involved strong content for many of the future nurses, but the trauma discussed is a topic that needs to be heard and treated, Brooks said.
“Statistically speaking, there will always be people in every audience that I teach, both men and women, who have been victims in their lifetime and have unresolved trauma,” Brooks said. “I hope to impress upon them the great importance of healing from this trauma, and seeking out therapy, so that they can live their best life.”
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, dating violence, or sexual violence, please call the Crisis Center of Dodge City at (620) 225-6510.