News in Nursing

Do Nurses Know How to Do Rape Exams?

A lack of SANE nurses is a national issue

Victims of rape and sexual abuse deserve comfort and care. With little to no certified SANE nurses available, this care is widely unavailable. There have even been federal efforts to address the shortage of certified nurses. Senator Patty Murray, D, of Washington introduced the Survivor’s Access to Supportive Care Act that increases forensic training. However, this bill has been stalled.

A lack of SANE trained nurses isn’t exclusive to Las Vegas or Chicago. It is a nationwide problem waiting to be fixed.

“I think the biggest barrier is just getting hospitals to rethink their traditional staffing,” said Spillane. “Ultimately, we would like to see a SANE nurse who’s available at every hospital 24/7, but we’re obviously a ways away from that.”

Only a law will equalize hospitals’ commitment to staffing nurses trained to gather forensic evidence after a rape. To change staffing and laws, it will take awareness of how sexual assaults forever disrupt the life of a victim, and how sensitive their examinations should be.