SPECIALIZED CARE FOR SURVIVORS OF VIOLENT CRIMES – SANE Nurses

SPECIALIZED CARE FOR SURVIVORS OF VIOLENT CRIMES – SANE Nurses

4/26/2021

Natalie Rinehart, RN, has worked for HRH’s Emergency Department for 21 years. Seven years ago, she was asked if she would be interested in obtaining special training to help survivors of sexual assault. Intrigued by what it entailed, Natalie agreed.

“Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) provide medical treatment to survivors of sexual assault,” said Natalie. “Survivors often lack vital information about how to proceed after experiencing a sexual assault. SANEs collect forensic evidence and are available to explain their options for reporting to law enforcement. We also collaborate with advocates, law enforcement and social workers to provide well rounded care for the patient.”

After she was trained, Natalie and another nurse shared 65 hours of calls every month on top of their full-time jobs. Despite their best efforts, their schedules left HRH without SANE coverage several days every month. Patients who came to HRH on those days were transferred outside the county for medical forensic exams.

Disheartened by the number of transfers, Natalie started actively recruiting nurses to the team. She took over as HRH’s SANE Program Coordinator in 2018. Thanks to her efforts, and support from Jennifer Miller, Director of HRH’s Emergency Departments, HRH now has 13 SANE trained nurses. They provide around the clock coverage at the Emergency Departments in Danville and Brownsburg, as well as DePauw University.

HRH’s SANE services include sexual assault examinations, evaluation and treatment following assault for ages 13 and older. In addition, they obtain victim’s compensation for patients so they don’t receive bills for their exams.

“Patients may find some comfort in knowing these specially trained nurses are ready to do anything they can to help make this traumatic time a little easier,” said HRH President & CEO Kevin Speer. “I’m proud our associates are furthering their educations to enhance the care we provide to sexual assault survivors.”

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