April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five women in Indiana will be victims of sexual violence. Research has shown that medical facilities with Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) programs provide better victim care and forensic evidence collection, but not all nurses have had access to this training.
Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC), hosted by the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana, has received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to spearhead the Indiana SANE Training Project statewide to provide advanced nursing education to increase the number of SANE nurses.
Indiana SANE Training Project’s next Adult/Adolescent SANE Clinical Training will be held at Reid Health in Richmond, Indiana, on April 13-14. This training will feature hands-on skills sessions, practice with “live” patient models and training facilitated by experienced and board-certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.
The aim of the Indiana SANE Training Project is to expand clinical training opportunities for nurses to improve clinical competence and confidence to ensure high quality forensic medical care to victims of sexual assault, according to Angie Morris, Southwest Indiana AHEC’s Indiana SANE training coordinator. She said that there will be nurses representing 12 hospitals from across Indiana at the Richmond training.
During the three-year project period, the Indiana SANE Training Project is focused on three primary goals:
- Increasing evidence-based, effective training of SANEs and forensic nurses working in rural and/or underserved communities to ensure competence in the care of sexual assault victims.
- Supporting professional development of forensic nurses in rural and/or underserved communities in Indiana.
- Improving the collection of data related to SANE programming in Indiana to guide future decision-making and programming.
In addition to the Indiana SANE Training Project, Southwest Indiana AHEC has offered Adult/Adolescent SANE training at USI for the past three years.