Published on April 30, 2018

Pardee UNC Health Care Expands Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) Program

Pardee nurses complete specialized training to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault victims

Pardee UNC Health Care has expanded its sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program, allowing the hospital to have a SANE on call 24/7. A SANE is a registered nurse who has completed specialized education and clinical preparation to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault victims. These nurses – in addition to providing the sexual assault exam – collaborate with other disciplines in the community who provide services to sexual assault victims, including law enforcement, crime lab personnel, child protection advocates and attorneys. A SANE may be asked to testify in legal proceedings related to the examination.

“A SANE can make the difference in a rape victim’s life and the lives of their families,” said Bridget Barron, MSN, RN-BC, nursing service director of PATHS at Pardee. “A SANE can provide the testimony to ensure criminals do not harm again. SANE nurses are highly trained in the collection of evidence and providing support to individuals who have been assaulted. This specialized training ensures that individuals in the community have a safe place to come for professional care and treatment after a sexual assault where they will not be judged or stigmatized.”

Added Barron, “When patients come to the emergency department stating they have been sexually assaulted, they are asked if they would like a SANE nurse to perform a sexual assault evidence kit. The kit can be done anonymously if the patient chooses to remain nameless.”

“While Pardee has always been able to provide services for sexual assault victims, this specialized training further enhances our ability to protect the patient’s physical, emotional and social well-being during an extremely traumatic time,” said Denise Lucas, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer at Pardee. “I am proud that so many members of our nursing staff have taken steps to earn this SANE credential.”

SANE training consists of online, classroom and clinical education. It also involves meeting with district attorneys, child advocacy centers, rape crisis centers and law enforcement. SANE RNs can sit for a certification exam through the International Association of Forensic Nurses once they have completed the required time as a SANE RN.

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