A Nurse’s Impact on Survivors of Domestic Violence

by User Not Found | Apr 25, 2024

In honor of National Nurses Week, we had a conversation with our Director of Clinic Operations, Tynetta Matsuda about not only the impact nurses have on survivors of domestic violence, but also the impact working at the clinics has had on her. 

As a survivor herself, Tynetta has a very important perspective on the impact of medical care offered to those who have endured abuse and also what it means to be the person who holds the responsibility of their care. We asked her a few questions about her experience.

How did you get started at The Family Place?

The Family Place's medical director, Dr. Laurie Berger, found my resume and reached out directly to discuss the opportunity. I am a seasoned nurse with a strong background in medical practice management. At the time, the clinic was going through a transition period due to a winter storm that damaged the Safe Campus and the COVID pandemic. Dr. Berger shared her vision for the clinic as well as her own personal experiences, and I knew right away that this was exactly where I was supposed to be. 

What is the best part of being a nurse at The Family Place?

Witnessing the children transform from quiet and withdrawn into bouncing smiles and giggles as they leave shelter to start their new life.

What is the hardest part of being a nurse at The Family Place?

As a nurse, listening to patients tell their stories of abuse is vital to assess for injuries. As a survivor myself, this can be emotionally taxing. I am fortunate to have a supportive team that works together to provide excellent trauma-informed care to our clients.  

Do you have a success story with a client you’d like to share?

Many patients who come through the clinic after entering the shelter have lived with trauma and abuse for years. This has also caused them to neglect their health needs for long periods of time. Many of our clients have received medical, dental, vision and mental healthcare through the services we provide onsite or through local community partners. Providing direct care in a safe and confidential environment eases their anxiety.

Do you have any tips for safety of those who are facing DV?

Know that you are not alone. Seek help when it is safe to do so. There are people ready and willing to help with resources needed to navigate your situation safely. Seek medical care after injuries such as head trauma and strangulation. There are many dangerous, unseen possibilities to these injuries that could be potentially life-threatening without proper assessment.

We are so proud of all of the staff and volunteer nurses who provide amazing care to the clients who come to The Family Place. Last year, we had 6,003 hours of medical care and medical volunteers provided 630 hours of medical care. If you are a medical professional and want to learn how to donate your skills to survivors at The Family Place, head to our volunteer page to get started.