Forensic Nurses Week was November 5-9, 2018 and this year’s theme is Forensic Nurses – “In every hospital, For every community, The future of care.” Based in Elkridge, Maryland, the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) includes 4,300 members, who are often referred to by the acronym, SANE (sexual assault nurse examiners).
Forensic Nurses at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown are Shannon Temple and Kimberly Seward.
When sexual assault victims arrive at an emergency department, one of the first people they encounter is a forensic nurse who is trained to gather information from the crime. Forensic nurses follow scientific and legal procedures to collect evidence and ensure quality of care for the victims.
For SANEs, other goals of sexual assault and rape testing include assessing and treating injuries, preventing sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, and offering psychological support. They work to address and validate patient concerns, minimize trauma and promote healing. They follow procedures set by local jurisdictions, the IAFN and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect information to be used in legal proceedings. A standardized process is imperative to ensuring victims get justice.