Archive for the ‘Sexual Assault’ Category

Sexual Abuse

March 19, 2013

A program that is in place to help sexual assault victims is SANE: Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  The nurses employed by this program are trained forensic nurses who help rape survivors on a first-response medical care basis.  They are concerned with psychological healing, emergency contraception, STD prophylaxis, documenting evidence, presenting evidence in court, organizing community resources for case management.  Prophylactic treatment of sexually transmitted diseases varies by health center, but generally includes a first dose Hepatitis B vaccine with follow up dose instructions.  Female patients are offered pregnancy prophylaxis medications after current pregnancy status has been established. HIV prophylaxis is also administered in these situations. The article “The Effectiveness of SANE Programs: A review of psychological, medical, legal, and community outcomes” by Campbell et al, from the journal Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, October 2005 reviews the effectiveness of SANE programs in all of its domains.

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SANE program

November 21, 2011

I just wanted to share that I’m excited to be a part of an evolving area of nursing at the facility I work at. We are researching the start of a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) program. The way we process sexual assaults presently is so detrimental to the victim and the evidence. None of nurses have been trained in forensic nursing so we always have to take the kit, and directions into the room with us and read and work as we go. It’s a one on one situation which takes a nurse out of commission making her feel rushed to get the process over with, which is not fair to the victim. The SANE nurse is trained in the collection of forensic evidence, the exam and needed follow up referrals; they’re also trained in the process of judiciary proceedings. It will be a great asset to have a nurse on call to spend the needed time with the patient as well. This training will also help in the collection of data for possible domestic abuse cases.

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Sexual Abuse Against Males

August 4, 2011

Hello. I am seeking information on several things that I do not know how to talk about, or ask about, so I will give it my best shot.Pardon me if it sounds crude to ask, but I don’t have the technical language.

My questions involve the similarities and differences in the manner in which child victims of violence sexual abuse, or homicide are examined, treated, autopsied, etc.

Is there a resource where a layperson can find data?

My particular questions ( again I apologize if I sound crude)

1) when little boys are killed, does anyone attempt to seek evidence of saliva in their genital regions?

2) is there a rape kit for boys, and is that kit different then that for girls?

3) when a little boy dies at the hands of a female caretaker, is a rape kit performed, or saliva samples collected from the genitals? Whatif a masle is a suspect? What if a little girl is killed?

4) when little boys are killed by women or girls, is the autopsy procedure the same, or different than for little girls?

5) if little boys are sexually abused, does the doctor or nurse ask them gender specific questions, i.e. ‘did your dad,…’ which are followed up by ‘ did your mom…?’ In other words is the forensic exam egalitarian across the board?

This is just the tip of an iceberg of my questions. Can you answer these, and point me to online resources for self study?

Thank you for your time.

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Forensic nurses and assault patients

August 7, 2009

Forensic nursing is gaining great scope in today’s healthcare. Assault, abuse, and neglect cases have risen over the years, and care for these types of patients is intense and extreme. These patients need in depth physical and emotional assessments completed while maintaining all evidence that may be needed by law enforcement personnel. It is a very tedious task for nurses to complete a thorough exam for assaulted patients, especially sexually assaulted patients. Thus it becomes vital that specialty nurses work within these healthcare environments where these patients are initially likely to be seen, for example, the ER. I feel that all ERs should have available a forensic nursing team that addresses these special cases.

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Building Exceptional Bedside Manner

June 18, 2009

Forensic nurses spend a large amount of their time examining victims of sexual assault and violent crime. These patients are often scared, traumatized and in need of a place to feel safe and protected. While all nurses can benefit from good bedside manner, nurses tending to these emotionally vulnerable patients need to have exceptional interpersonal skills to successfully help these patients recover and get the information necessary to bring their assailants to justice. Here are a few tips on bolstering your bedside manner.

Put your personal issues aside. There’s no doubt that nursing can be a stressful job and seeing numerous patients in a day, especially those beaten and abused can be hard work. While your job may not always be a walk in the park, it’s likely that your patient has had a much worse day and needs you to be a shoulder to lean on even if you’re not in the best of moods.

Work to build a rapport. Whether you ask them about their lives or just provide great medical care, building a strong relationship with patients can help them to feel better, recover faster and feel more secure in opening up about the details of their incident.

Just listen. Sometimes all a patient needs to start healing is to share their story. Even if you’re having a busy day, set aside time for your patients so they can feel truly cared about and listened to, especially if they don’t have friends or family to keep them company at the hospital.

Be patient and gentle. Not all patients will be forthcoming with medical information or details about their assaults. Getting frustrated or angry with these patients won’t make it any easier for them or you, so take your time and work with them. Using a soothing voice, moving slowly around the room and avoiding loud noises can also help to calm them down and make them feel more secure.

Explain everything. Many victims of trauma, especially those of sexual assault, feel out of control and violated and can be very reticent to let anyone examine their body. If you need to do medical procedures, make sure you explain everything you’re doing and ensure that the patient is comfortable before proceeding, that way they can start to gain some sense of control over their bodies.

We’re all human and sometimes we have good and bad days, but making a conscious effort to be supportive and understanding of patients can make a world of difference in their lives and in yours.

This post was contributed by Nicole White, who writes about ultrasound tech schools. She welcomes your feedback at Nicole.White222 at

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