Every child who received an interview at the Mercer County CAC will be offered a medical exam.
The medical exam is encouraged so the child and caregiver(s) are reassured that the child is normal.
The forensic evaluation contains two parts: the forensic interview and the forensic medical consultation. Medical consultations are highly recommended for all patients, as it offers families a chance to speak with a specialized medical professional about the health and well-being of their child. The consultation allows the nurse to visually examine the child and look for signs of abuse and/or neglect. This is not a gynecological exam and is child-friendly and non-threatening for the child. The parent or caregiver may be present in the room during the medical exam if the child wishes.
What to Expect
The medical exam will take place at the Mercer County CAC in a child friendly room. The exam will include a medical history from the caregiver as well as from the child. The child will receive a thorough head to toe exam similar to a normal check-up at a Pediatrician’s office. This exam may also include an external inspection of the genitalia and anal area to make sure they appear normal. It is highly unusual for a preadolescent child to require an internal vaginal or rectal examination. It is important to understand that the child’s medical exam is different and less invasive than an adult pelvic examination.
For most children, the check-up is not painful. Nevertheless, children may feel worried, embarrassed or uncomfortable about their exam. It is normal for children to feel anxious about their examination. The nurse practitioner will take as much time as necessary to help children throughout the medical evaluation by explaining each step of the check-up and finding ways to put the child at ease.