Considering the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 185,468 sexual assault victims residing in southeastern North Carolina, however, there are limited practicing Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) due to vicarious trauma, funding barriers and burnout. For adult victims, the lack of SANEs results in untrained nurses completing their sexual assault kits, while child victims must be sent to surrounding counties for evidence collection, sometimes days and weeks later, ultimately resulting in physical evidence being unobtainable.
Through grant funding, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance (CCHA) hired a Regional SANE Coordinator to assist member hospitals in building and/or starting their SANE programs. Objectives of the SANE Coordinator were to: 1) Improve relationships between member hospitals and their community partners through participation in Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs). 2) Educate Emergency Department staff on sexual violence best practice standards and assist them in creating their own policies and procedures. 3) Contract with New Hanover Regional Medical Center SANE Trainers to recruit/train registered nurses to become SANEs by providing their didactic training and, most importantly, assisting them with their clinical training components through completion.
By the end of year one of the two-year grant, 18 additional Adult SANEs and 2 additional Pediatric SANEs were trained in southeastern North Carolina. By the end of year two, project staff will have trained 30 Adult SANEs and 12 Pediatric SANEs, exceeding their overall goal by 18 SANEs. All active SARTs have reported a satisfaction rating of 90% or higher.
About Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance
Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance is a not-for-profit organization owned entirely by its member hospitals, located in North and South Carolina. Their mission is to provide value to members by facilitating improvement in the quality and delivery of healthcare, and achieving operational efficiencies through collaborative efforts.