Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

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SANE nurse’s are sexual assault nurse examiners and provide a very specialized area of forensic nursing. These nurses must have specialized training for competently collecting evidence, while providing both physical and emotional support to the patient. The need for SANE nurses to be readily available in the ED setting is vast. It is not uncommon for a patient to be forced to wait in the ED from four to eight hours for a practioner to exam them. Many ED’s are implementing SANE programs in order to more quickly and efficiently take care of this population of clients. The SANE nurses have a legal obligation to offer the patient post-coital emergency contraception as well as HIV/ Hepatitis/STD testing and treatment. Some of these interventions may be ethically controversial for the nurse, and they should consider this before entering the disciplinary of forensics concerning sexual assault victims.
SANE nurses are extremely beneficial to the patient providing quick and efficient care to the clients. They establish a liaison between the regular staff or hospital and patient. They will serve as a witness in a legal trial concerning the incident or evidence. They also provide assistance to the legal system serving as a liaison between hospital and local authorities. There are currently 280 SANE programs in the US. There is a proven benefit to have these programs available in the community. They also provide a great opportunity to the RN who is seeking a rewarding and challenging career.

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