NHRMC to Offer Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Training

June 03, 2015
WILMINGTON, N.C. - New Hanover Regional Medical Center has been approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing to conduct Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Training Courses, allowing more of NHRMC’s registered nurses to become certified in providing compassionate, patient-centered, time-sensitive care to victims of sexual assault.

Registered nurses who complete SANE training perform examinations of sexual assault victims, collect and preserve evidence, and testify in legal proceedings. Nurses receive training based on the national recommendations of the International Association of Forensic Nurses and are recognized by the N.C. Board of Nursing. NHRMC currently has 11 SANE-certified-nurses on call 24-hours-a-day at all NHRMC Emergency Departments. With the approval to train onsite, NHRMC plans to grow the program to 15 nurses who will work with adolescents and adults, and to train more nurses to become pediatric examiners.

Training takes six to eight months and includes classroom and clinical educational opportunities with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Wilmington Police Department, Wrightsville Beach Police Department, New Hanover County Department of Social Services, Rape Crisis Center, The Carousel Center for Abused Children and UNCW.

The NHRMC SANE program works in partnership with many of its clinical training partners to provide care for sexual assault victims of any age, race, gender or orientation.

“Being able to offer SANE training locally means more NHRMC nurses will be able to complete the program. Our nurses previously traveled out of town to complete SANE training, which limited the number of participants. Now we can grow the program to ensure that sexual assault victims in our region are examined by our expertly trained nurses,” said SANE Coordinator for Emergency and Trauma Services Colleen L. Mistovich.

Sexual assaults have risen in recent years. In 2014, 164 patients reported a sexual assault to NHRMC Emergency Departments. That is up from the 90 patients who reported sexual assaults in 2013. In 2015, there have been 54 sexual assault reports.

“It is important to expand this program to not only treat victims, but to prevent assault from happening. Our nurses receive extensive training, which allows them to provide more accurate evidence collection, which can lead to more convictions, and therefore a safer community,” said NHRMC Emergency and Trauma Services Administrator Christy Spivey.

NHRMC SANE nurses provide:

- Emotional support

- Physical examination

- Collection of medical forensic evidence

- Assistance to victims in reporting crime to law enforcement if desired (mandatory reporting for children)

- Facilitation of victims’ advocacy and support with community partners

- Education on concerns related to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy

- Assistance with safety planning

- Development of medical follow-up plans

- Expert testimony in legal proceedings

For more information on this program, contact Colleen Mistovich at 910-343-2565 or Colleen.Mistovich@nhrmc.org.