Sexual assault nurse examiners collect evidence, show compassion to victims

Some Pennsylvania hospitals turn to sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) to provide compassionate care and special forensic expertise to treat victims of sexual assault, the Herald-Standard reported. Uniontown Hospital and Highlands Hospital in Connellsville, Pa., have SANE nurses on the clock 24/7 to examine victims and preserve evidence collected with a rape kit in the event the case goes to court. What sets these nurses apart is the gentleness they show to the victims, said Megan Simms, volunteer coordinator for the Fayette County Crime Victims Center, an essential tool when working with victims who can feel scared, ashamed and doubtful about the legal system. SANE nurses are also trained to discuss medical options, such as antibiotic treatment and emergency contraception with victims. "I'm very proud to have nurses who have stepped up to take the training," Uniontown Hospital's nursing director, Kris Shiley, told the Herald-Standard. "To be a true patient advocate takes a special person." Article