WhidbeyHealth Medical Center is looking for candidates willing to be trained to provide sexual assault nurse exams.
The SANE program involves highly trained nurse practitioners or advanced practice registered nurses who are required to get certification as part of the protocol-driven service, according to the hospital. Their job is to provide medical forensic care of a patient who has been sexually assaulted.
The hospital is losing SANE nurses because of relocations, transfers and retirements; it is in immediate need of candidates.
“This important role demands both the ability and sensitivity to provide examination and emotional support,” the hospital reported.
SANE nurses are a vital part of sexual-assault investigations. Island County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Eric Ohme said it’s important for victims to get a forensic exam as soon as possible. Without a SANE nurse at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, victims would be forced to go off the island.
“That creates significant barriers which would result in some victims not getting the exam done at all,” he said. “A lack of a SANE exam in a sexual assault case hinders law enforcement’s ability to hold offenders accountable in these cases because without one there is generally little or no physical evidence to go on.”
The hospital reported that officials are working with the police and area organization to ensure the program continues.
Registered nurses interested in learning more can contact Jackie Bassett, interim OB manager, at 360-678-5151 ext. 2118.