Back

Mississippi nurses are taking extra steps to become certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

By Haley Myatt

Shalotta Sharp’s efforts are changing Mississippi.

Sharp is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, also known as a SANE nurse. The specialized training is long and extensive but provides a much-needed service within the state. SANE training includes a 40-hour course which gives an RN the required education to provide expert care to a patient that states they have been sexually assaulted.

Thanks to Sharp’s efforts in training nurses the past seven years, there are currently six SANE trained professionals on staff at the UM Health Center, which is the most Ole Miss has ever had.

Up until the course began on Nov. 13 to 17, there were no known SANE nurses on the Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi ER staff until one (RN nurse), Erin Jackson, volunteered to take the course.

“I just want to make sure that I can be a resource for a victim and feel comfortable with what I’m doing from the rape kit all the way down to being proficient with the legal aspects,” Jackson said. “Once you get the procedure down pat, you can give more of yourself emotionally. I want to  be there for them emotionally.”

Sharp says in high hopes that she has not given up on reaching more nurses from the Baptist Hospital and plans to do another SANE training in Oxford in the future.

During SANE training, Sharp, who is the Special Projects Coordinator of Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MSCASA), taught the nurses a standard model of care for sexual assault victims. MSCASA initiated the SANE Course in 1999. Sharp is the second certified SANE in MS (SANE-A) and the first dual certified (SANE-A, SANE-P) in Mississippi, and is still the only dual-certified SANE pediatric (SANE-P) in the state.

“It is scientifically proven SANE nurses are more effective at handling sexual assault cases,” Sharp said. “Hospitals that do have SANE nurses are better nurses overall.”

MSCASA is the only course that provides nurses with training and has been available in Mississippi for the past seventeen years.

Dr. Travis W. Yates, Director of the University Health Services, stated his agreement with Sharp on how crucial SANE nurses are to the wellbeing of patients after a traumatic experience like sexual assault.

“No health clinic or hospital is required to have a SANE nurse, but it looks good to be certified,” Yates said. “There is no requirement for anyone to have a SANE nurse on other campuses or in other hospitals. We are fortunate to have the staff we do.”

The health clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 to 5 p.m., so when someone is assaulted after hours, what is the protocol?

Yates and Sharp both stated that victims are directed to the ER where doctors can perform a rape kit, despite being SANE specialized or not. The only time that the ER sends patients away to Tupelo or Batesville is if the patient needs higher medical attention.

Yates states that as a doctor, he would argue that a 40-hour course does not trump three years of residency training, but Sharp points out that while any doctor or nurse can do it, nothing is as efficient as having a SANE nurse.

Based off of her 12 years of experience, Sharp she has seen forensic exam encounters takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to be done correctly.

“Doctors are responsible for every single person in the ER and do not have the time to be tied up, one-on-one with a sexual assault victim and maintain that chain of custody and stay with their evidence for that amount of time,” Sharp said. “It is not cost effective at all and throws them into a liability because they aren’t tending to the other patients.”

According to the National Alliance to End Sexual Assault, crime victimization costs the United States $450 billion annually.

The training has been very successful since it frees the attending physician, provides a nurse with expertise, and moves patients through the ED in a more efficient way according to Yates and Sharp. Plus, in cases that go to court, a nurse can testify in place of a physician since they are trained to do so.

SANE nurses are often the first faces a patient sees, making sensitivity a priority.

“These nurses understand trauma and they understand trauma responses, so when survivors are presenting and responding in many different ways, they understand where that’s coming from,” Sharp said. “They let them know exactly what is going to happen while they’re collecting the kit and they let them know they have a choice over all of it.”

Financial Issues

So why aren’t there more sexual assault nurses? Yates and Sharp both state that there are too many dynamics that play into it.

Yates said one issue is financial. While there is no charge for nurses to take the course since it is state-sponsored, the health center has to cover their travel expenses as well as expenses for substitute nursing coverage during their absence.

“The reason it is extremely important and why I want our SANE nurses trained is every nurse is extremely complimentary and proud they went when they come back to work,” Yates said. “I can’t speak for the hospital, but you realize they have the same problems I would have. The ER would struggle with staffing if they had a nurse out for an entire week, it is a staffing and a financial issue for them I’m sure.”

Sharp says that the lack of SANE-trained nurses is not only a local problem but is a state, national and international problem.

“The reason hospitals lack SANEs is because if the course is not in their town, they have to send their nurse to wherever it is and nurses want to get reimbursed and hospitals may not have the staffing or money to send them,” Sharp said. “MSCASA offers a scholarship now, so if a hospital says they don’t have the resources, we can pay a nurse’s salary for their travels and education.”

Yates said he also thinks that nurses just don’t have time to take a week off and that might be why there is a lack of them.

“This is all a positive thing and support for sexual assault victims are on the up no doubt,” Yates said. “I think as time goes on, you will have sexual assault training integrated into nursing training. Who knows, maybe ten years or so from now, it will be required for nurses to have more training in handling trauma than they currently do. Which I think would be great.”

In practice, though, SANEs can be few and far between, especially in rural areas. Mississippi does not have any legislation that says hospitals need to have a SANE nurse. There is a senator from Texas who is pushing for legislation to have a sexual assault nurse at every hospital.

“In my personal opinion, I believe that every hospital should have a SANE to encounter a sexual assault patient,” Sharp said. “I think every hospital needs a nurse who can ask the right questions and point to the best resources. Nurses with this education are more comfortable in this role.”

Need for education

Tracy Summers and Drenette Burchfield, two nurses who attended the training from the health clinic said that they think most nurses and people are just uninformed about what a SANE nurse is.

“Forensic nursing is a fairly new aspect of nursing and it has only been called this for 15 to 20 years now,” Burchfield said. “So it is a fairly new concept to train nurses. The big push is to educate our population. SANE falls under forensic nursing.”

Jackson stated that she heard four more nurses from the Oxford hospital will undergo a smaller four-hour training, titled  “Emergency Department Care of the Sexual Assault Patient,” in December.

Sharp says that this four-hour class is a brief overview of the patient presentation and a demonstration of the evidence collection process.

“It is content from the SANE Course, but does not meet all the education requirements as the SANE Course,” Sharp said. “So the nurse that takes this class is not a SANE, but can do a better, more efficient job of evidence collection and basic medical care.”

Summers and Burchfield both stated that there has been much more dialogue lately about if it should be a requirement to have a SANE nurse at least on call at all times. This could be due to the fact that five sexual assaults have been reported at Ole Miss this fall semester alone.

Empowerment

It could also be that people are feeling more empowered now than ever to report based off the new coverage from cases like Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, John Besh and the recent news about Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose. Congress returned from the Thanksgiving break to end secrecy over sexual harassment.

Sharp and Jackson both said it is a wonder any victim ever comes forward.

“First of all look at how we treat rape victims in the media and society. When the Bill Cosby news broke and the first victim came forward she was automatically called an alleged victim, he was never an alleged perpetrator, so we automatically use terminology that suggests we don’t believe the victim,” Sharp said. “If you look back through history we have always treated sexual assault victims this way, there has never been a time in our culture where we automatically believed them. We have always downplayed them.”

Until we change that culture, this is going to be the norm.

Any RN can attend the SANE Course, but to become certified, the RN has to have practiced for 2 years and meet competency hours as required. If they pass the test and do their hours they can be designated as SANE-A certified.

Sharp says that unlike other registered nurses who have not undergone SANE training, SANE nurses are more qualified and are better able to understand the patient history and dynamics.

“Our forensic nurses have a lot more training and education regarding sexual assault patient population,” Sharp said. “SANE nurses will have more expertise in the patient presentation along with understanding the physiological trauma.”

Sharp said being a SANE completely changed her worldview. She said she learned how to read and comprehend research and become a better nurse with this education and looked at all patients with more compassion and better critical thinking skills.

“Through this education, I was able to learn how violence impacts a person throughout the lifespan,” Sharp said. “I also learned about the strength and courage it takes for a victim of violence to survive and sometimes, not always, go public.”

Life-changing tragedy

Calvin Bennett, RN and Director of Residence Life & Housing at Meridian Community College said that his experience with SANE training as been eye-opening and he has learned a lot of information that he can’t wait to take back with him to his students.

“I think all nurses should undergo this training because whether you are in the ER or on a college campus you never know where you will have a situation like this and this will let you make them feel better to get through their situation,” Bennett said.

Like Bennett Summers and Burchfield said that they are taking this knowledge back to assist students at Ole Miss. Summers thinks that it would even be beneficial if the students took some form of this course to learn more about sexual assault.

“I have learned so much, courses like these are great because they will sharpen your current knowledge and teach you techniques you didn’t already know,” Jackson said. “I hope I can go back and promote this training at the hospital.”

All the nurses in training agreed learning about the neurobiology of trauma was something they didn’t know before.

“In my opinion, it is probably the most important research that’s come out because we have concrete evidence of what trauma does to a victim, including sexual assault victims,” Sharp said. “In this research scientists looked at the brains and looked at hormone levels of all victims of trauma including sexual assault and found that the brain interprets sexual assault as any other type of trauma.”

One concern most of the nurses had that Sharp says she constantly hears is that nurses don’t want to testify in court. To conquer that fear, a mock trial demonstrated with nurses as expert witnesses, real prosecutors and judges in a real courtroom setting were included in the training.

The training, which was in correlation with Forensic nurse week, also included a live model skills lab, where volunteers let the nurses practice pelvic exams for rape kit procedures.

Kim Hodges, a SANE nurse, has volunteered as a live model for seven years and enjoys contributing to the learning process for nurses.

“There’s no way they cover this whole SANE course in nursing school,” Hodges said. “Pelvic exams on live models are not part of nursing school.”

“You have to know normal to know the difference between normal and abnormal during an exam,” Hodges said. “The first time you do a pelvic exam, it should not be on a victim, so this gives them a chance to learn hands-on before they do the real deal.”

Sharp says MSCASA provides training not only to nurses but to law enforcement officers and work with rape crisis centers on how to encounter patients.

“Anybody who would encounter a victim of violence, we educate,” Sharp said. “If you are a detective and get a call and your mind goes blank, I give my cell to let them know let me help you with this.”

Sharp says she loves her role at MSCASA.

“I am passionate about educating anyone,” Sharp said. “I feel that our state is very fortunate to have an organization that supports victims of violence through education and technical assistance to any agency.  That is my favorite thing about MSCASA… the passion for victims and passion for helping those that serve this population.”

Baptist Memorial did not respond to a request to be interviewed for this story.

 

Comments(112)

  • Arabic Voice Over

    August 14, 2018

    I really enjoy the article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  • “I’m curious to find out what blog system you have been using? I’m having some minor security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any solutions?”

  • Prostate Massager Toys

    August 17, 2018

    Very informative article post.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  • CCTV packages

    August 17, 2018

    Really appreciate you sharing this post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  • “Say, you got a nice article.Much thanks again. Great.”

  • pocket pussy

    August 18, 2018

    Really appreciate you sharing this article.Really looking forward to read more.

  • Betcity

    August 18, 2018

    Awesome article. Really Cool.

  • adult to toy to suck boobs

    August 19, 2018

    Really appreciate you sharing this post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  • penis extensions

    August 19, 2018

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  • sex furniture reviews

    August 20, 2018

    I appreciate you sharing this article post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.

  • Apple watch bands

    August 20, 2018

    Wow, great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

  • Best End Of Lease Cleaning

    August 21, 2018

    Major thankies for the blog.Thanks Again. Want more.

  • I am so grateful for your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  • google website audit

    August 22, 2018

    Very neat blog.Thanks Again. Great.

  • Bond Cleaning

    August 23, 2018

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog post. Much obliged.

  • dmca

    August 24, 2018

    I truly appreciate this blog article.Really thank you! Want more.

  • I think this is a real great article.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  • sex bullet

    August 26, 2018

    Im obliged for the blog.Much thanks again. Great.

  • Say, you got a nice blog article.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  • Exit And Bond Cleaning

    August 28, 2018

    Thank you ever so for you article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  • Cleaners Brisbane

    August 28, 2018

    Fantastic blog article. Awesome.

  • Toronto Escort

    August 29, 2018

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Thanks Again.

  • Useless websites.com

    August 29, 2018

    I cannot thank you enough for the post.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  • Very informative article post.Really thank you! Great.

  • Sugar Dating

    August 31, 2018

    Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • ccna courses london

    September 1, 2018

    Enjoyed every bit of your article.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  • Move Out Cleaning Melbourne

    September 1, 2018

    This is one awesome post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  • Very good article. Cool.

  • Empire Flooring

    September 3, 2018

    Wow, great article post.

  • vibration massage

    September 3, 2018

    Great, thanks for sharing this article.Thanks Again. Cool.

  • g gasm

    September 4, 2018

    Really informative article.Thanks Again. Cool.

  • view

    September 5, 2018

    Major thankies for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  • rakeback

    September 6, 2018

    Appreciate you sharing, great article post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  • Really enjoyed this blog post.Really thank you! Much obliged.

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner

    September 10, 2018

    A big thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  • Travel Agency "GALA"

    September 11, 2018

    Wow, great post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  • www.naukrilinked.com/

    September 11, 2018

    Thank you for your blog.Really looking forward to read more.

  • home motorized treadmill india

    September 13, 2018

    Great, thanks for sharing this article.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • Disability Attorney Phoenix

    September 14, 2018

    I really like and appreciate your blog.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  • happy8

    September 14, 2018

    Im thankful for the article. Really Great.

  • l'arque g spot massager

    September 15, 2018

    Great blog. Keep writing.

  • Very informative post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  • Thanks so much for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  • happy birthday greetings

    September 17, 2018

    I think this is a real great blog post. Much obliged.

  • swan wand vibrator

    September 19, 2018

    I really enjoy the blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  • zvodretiluret

    September 20, 2018

    Great web site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

  • Muchos Gracias for your article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  • Strap on sex toy

    September 21, 2018

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • Check here

    September 21, 2018

    I really liked your article.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  • Positronic Design

    September 22, 2018

    I loved your article. Will read on…

  • This is one awesome blog article.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  • www.lexmove.org

    September 23, 2018

    I appreciate you sharing this blog article. Will read on…

  • hookah palm beach

    September 23, 2018

    I appreciate you sharing this article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • Poker

    September 25, 2018

    Heya! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!

    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the outstanding work!

  • vibrating tongue

    September 27, 2018

    Im obliged for the article post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • betsey Johnson

    September 27, 2018

    Very neat article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  • Im grateful for the blog post.Thanks Again.

  • Poker online uang asli

    September 28, 2018

    Thanks for your splendid posting! I must say i enjoyed reading through the idea, you could be an excellent publisher.Let me ensure that Mississippi nurses are taking extra steps to become certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners My spouse and i take a note of your site and may even return later on. I must motivate a person carry on your fantastic creating, have a very wonderful evening!. Poker online uang asli http://feraripk.net/

  • Pure Shilajit

    September 28, 2018

    wow, awesome post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  • Thanks for the blog.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • www.seobengaluru.com

    October 2, 2018

    Great blog post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  • How to use penis pumps

    October 3, 2018

    Fantastic post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  • Thanks again for the blog post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  • How to use penis pumps

    October 4, 2018

    Very good article.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

  • bilforsikring

    October 5, 2018

    I value the blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  • print design

    October 5, 2018

    Major thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  • minecraft

    October 6, 2018

    Hey! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering
    which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking
    at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me
    in the direction of a good platform.

  • minecraft

    October 6, 2018

    Hello everybody, here every person is sharing such knowledge,
    so it’s pleasant to read this website, and I used to pay a quick visit this webpage all the time.

  • Poker Online Uang Asli

    October 6, 2018

    amazing submit, thank you. excellent post and idea|Appreciate expressing your write-up I’d personally usually adhere to|Many thanks most to your info and Mississippi nurses are taking extra steps to become certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners remarks Respect ….|an extremely effective website. Also very exposing article. Because of the contributors.|My partner and i tremendously value every one of the details I’ve go through here. I’ll get the word out regarding your blog site with people. Regards.|wonderful, thank you ;)|genuinely it is a good world wide web thank you many thanks management good publish very messege|Ooohh, wonderful info you’re posting it extremely clean up. I’m very fortuitous to have this particular specifics by you. Poker Online Uang Asli https://feraripk.net/

  • Alesha

    October 7, 2018

    Im grateful for the blog article. Keep writing.

  • I do not even know the way I ended up here, however I believed this submit was great.
    I do not recognise who you are however certainly you’re going to a famous blogger for those who aren’t already.
    Cheers!

  • I do not even understand how I stopped up here, but
    I assumed this publish used to be great. I don’t recognize who you’re but
    certainly you are going to a well-known blogger should
    you aren’t already. Cheers!

  • Penis Pumps

    October 10, 2018

    This is one awesome blog.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • personalised mugs

    October 12, 2018

    I really liked your blog.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

  • me suba

    October 13, 2018

    Vq14lJ Very neat article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  • check here

    October 14, 2018

    I simply want to tell you that I am very new to blogging and certainly savored your web blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You absolutely come with beneficial stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog site.

  • Okay you are right, actually PHP is a open source and its help we can obtain free from any community or web page as it occurs at this place at this web page.

  • Pregnancy Miracle Review

    October 15, 2018

    Wow, superb blog structure! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you make running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your web site is great, let alone the content!

  • Griselda

    October 15, 2018

    Muchos Gracias for your blog article.Thanks Again. Cool.

  • Jacquline

    October 15, 2018

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read all at alone place.

  • Spec Ops Shooting Review

    October 15, 2018

    It as a funny thing about life ?henever you

  • solitaire online

    October 15, 2018

    yeah bookmaking this wasn at a bad determination great post!.

  • Gclub

    October 15, 2018

    Thanks again for the blog article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • dmca

    October 15, 2018

    I really liked your blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  • tour du lich diep son

    October 15, 2018

    That you are my function models. Thank you for your post

  • hamptonbaylight

    October 15, 2018

    The best and clear News and why it means a good deal.

  • cung ung lao dong Long An

    October 15, 2018

    Very good info. Lucky me I ran across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

  • cung ung lao dong tpHCM

    October 15, 2018

    Thank you for helping out, excellent information. The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence, and obsolescence. by Bruce Barton.

  • Villa Concierge Bali

    October 15, 2018

    Very informative blog post.Really thank you! Will read on

  • instabeauty cambridge

    October 15, 2018

    Thanks for spending the time to argue this, I feel starkly about it and adore conception additional taking place this topic.

  • mobile nails cambridge

    October 16, 2018

    Wow! This could be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • http://104.248.156.42/

    October 16, 2018

    Thanks for the blog post.Really thank you! Awesome.

  • solar flagpole lights

    October 16, 2018

    I really like and appreciate your blog article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • scarymazegamenew

    October 16, 2018

    Im grateful for the post.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  • to learn more

    October 16, 2018

    I think this is a real great post. Really Cool.

  • orthophoniste montreal

    October 16, 2018

    When some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she needs to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

  • click here

    October 16, 2018

    Lovely just what I was searching for. Thanks to the author for taking his time on this one.

  • Tractor Workshop Manuals

    October 16, 2018

    I wish to express thanks to you for rescuing me from such a issue. After scouting throughout the search engines and getting thoughts which are not helpful, I believed my entire life was gone. Existing without the approaches to the issues you’ve sorted out by way of your good post is a critical case, as well as the ones that might have in a wrong way affected my career if I hadn’t encountered your web page. Your own talents and kindness in handling the whole thing was helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a subject like this. It’s possible to at this time look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this impressive and result oriented guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse your site to anybody who needs tips about this subject matter.

  • Dental Implants Los Angeles

    October 16, 2018

    Your current positions always have got many of really up to date info. Where do you come up with this? Just declaring you are very resourceful. Thanks again

  • Daftar poker

    October 16, 2018

    This unique blog is really cool as well as informative. I have chosen a lot of helpful things out of this amazing blog. I ad love to go back every once in a while. Thanks!

  • link 188bet

    October 16, 2018

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog post. Really Cool.

  • VFX Body Supplement

    October 16, 2018

    Perfectly composed articles , thankyou for selective information.

  • best custom essay writing

    October 16, 2018

    Nice blog here! Also your web site loads up fast! What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • best oil pen

    October 17, 2018

    Wow, great article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  • best vape pen

    October 17, 2018

    vibram five fingers shoes WALSH | ENDORA

  • discreet vape pen

    October 17, 2018

    Wow, great blog.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

  • low temp vape pen

    October 17, 2018

    Major thanks for the post.Much thanks again. Much obliged. sex animation

  • Travel & Leisure

    October 17, 2018

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

  • go to this web-site

    October 17, 2018

    What as up to every body, it as my first pay a quick visit of this web site; this web site

  • Travel & Leisure

    October 17, 2018

    I have been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, yet I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely value sufficient for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the net might be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • free porn videos

    October 17, 2018

    I wouldn at mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you

  • Lana Rozenberg

    October 17, 2018

    Network Marketing is not surprisingly very popular because it can earn you numerous revenue within a really brief time period..

Post a Comment