The Case for Being SANE


Since the development of Sexual Assault Response Teams, SANEs (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) have improved the quality of care for rape victims. Before the advent of SART programs, rape exams were performed by ER physicians. This meant that a victim had to wait (usually for hours) in the emergency department waiting room. The exam was then performed by a physician who most likely did not have specialized training in evidence collection.

Now a patient who has been sexually assaulted can be seen by a specially trained nurse in a more private setting. Some patients are seen in emergency departments by SANEs and some are seen in separate SART clinics.

The SANE nurse has received both classroom education and clinical education in sexual assault evidence collection. The nurse only has one patient and can take the time for a thorough interview, proper examination and evidence collection and support of the patient. The interview is done in conjunction with law enforcement so that she does not have to repeat the same
information over and over.

In 2002 the International Association of Forensic Nurses instituted a certification exam for sexual assault nurses. This certification can give additional credibility in court as well as setting national standards for sexual assault nurses. The certification is not required for performing
SART exams.

For a broader certification in Forensic Nursing itself, Canyon College is accepting applications for Online Forensic Nursing Certifications.

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