What is a Forensic Nurse?

A forensic nurse provides specialized care for patients; both victims and perpetrators of violence. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are the largest subspecialty of forensic nurses in the United States. They receive specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of a patient who has experienced sexual assault or abuse.

Agnesian HealthCare’s SANEs work collaboratively with others in the community such as ASTOP Sexual Abuse Center, law enforcement agencies and legal professionals to ensure the care they deliver to sexual assault patients is appropriate and compassionate. Working collaboratively is essential to ensure a SANE facilitates access to all services within these systems.

ASTOP regularly conducts “Team Training” for agencies involved in responding to SANE cases; this is a role-playing SANE case scenario in the emergency department at St. Agnes Hospital. The participants include one or more Agnesian HealthCare SANE, ASTOP staff, ASTOP volunteer advocates and law enforcement officers from the City of Fond du Lac Police Department.  Each agency plays a vital role during a SANE case, and the role playing offers collaboration, relationship building, training, education and accountability among professionals. The multidisciplinary response provides direct intervention to sexual assault victims with the goal of reducing any further trauma.

This week ASTOP recognizes, supports and celebrates SANEs everywhere. A special thank you goes out the Agnesian HealthCare’s SANE staff for all they do on behalf of victims of sexual abuse in the Fond du Lac and surrounding communities!

For more information on forensic nursing, visit the International Association of Forensic Nurses.