Indiana SANE Training Project FAQs
Angela Morris, MSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, EMT
What is the Indiana SANE Training Project? The Indiana SANE Training Project is an initiative of the University of Southern Indiana and Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center. The Project provides medical forensic education, training, resources and clinical support to healthcare facilities and providers to improve care for victims of crime and trauma throughout Indiana.
What is a SANE? SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. This title may be a bit misleading because SANEs, who may also be known as Forensic Nurses, are trained to provide care to patients with medical forensic issues that expand beyond sexual violence.
What is considered a medical forensic issue? A medical forensic issue can occur in nearly any patient whose medical care may intersect with the legal system. Medical forensic issues commonly include crimes such as sexual assault, interpersonal violence, child abuse and neglect and penetrating injuries. Patients impacted by motor vehicle crashes, mass casualties, animal bites, blunt force trauma, wounds, workplace injuries and vulnerable adults may also benefit from the services of a forensic nurse.
What does a forensic nurse do? Forensic nurses provide medical forensic examinations, which include a comprehensive medical forensic history, review of systems, head-to-toe physical assessment, take photographs, collect specimens that may have evidentiary value and plan and coordinate a patient’s care. These healthcare providers may also be called upon by the legal system to serve as a fact or expert witness. Forensic nurses must understand the legal and medical implications of the care they provide.
How do hospitals and healthcare providers benefit from the Project? The Project can support hospitals and healthcare providers throughout Indiana to improve patient outcomes through education and training. The Project can provide financial assistance to healthcare facilities who wish to implement services for patients with medical forensic needs. This financial assistance is currently made possible through grant dollars from the Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as the Indiana Department of Health. The Project works with each individual hospital and healthcare facility to establish programming that is unique to each community’s needs.
Why should my hospital consider staffing forensic nurses? We don’t see many of these issues. The data would suggest that your healthcare providers ARE seeing patients with medical forensic issues, but may be falling short on properly identifying them. Failing to meet the needs of patients with medical forensic issues, including evidence collection, can put your facility at risk for penalties, liability and a public relations nightmare. Evidence integrity is an important aspect of successfully prosecuting offenders. As healthcare providers, we have a duty to meet these needs and recognize the positive impact that this can have on a patient’s outcomes.
What support is currently available? The Project currently offers funding assistance by reimbursement for didactic and clinical training, online learning modules and assistance with establishing policies and procedures that will work to meet the needs unique to your facility and community.
How do we get started on training our healthcare providers? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. Also, follow us on Facebook: @HoosierSANE.