Filling the Educational Gaps: Creating A Sexual Assault Clinical Education Program

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Approximately every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, leading to approximately 463, 634 victims of rape and sexual violence each year. Emergency department (ED) nurses and providers often serve as the primary point-of-contact for many survivors of sexual assault. Unfortunately, not all EDs have sexual assault nurse examiners (SANE) on staff to care for survivors of sexual violence and those who do are experiencing staffing shortages. While there are multiple in-person and virtual opportunities for nurses to become SANE-trained, there are no local clinical opportunities for new SANEs to receive the hands-on education required by the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN). Therefore, there are decreased opportunities for nurses to become SANE-trained and begin caring for survivors of sexual violence. The creation of a two-day clinical education course will allow for those interested in SANE training to achieve the proper education and have necessary hands-on experience prior to caring for acute sexual assault patients. The results of this course are ongoing, as the initial offering will be in September 2022. Moving forward, the course will be offered quarterly to accommodate the region’s educational needs.