Forensic Nurses Week

Meriter Hospital would like to recognize the SANE staff. Every day they make a difference in the lives of their patients. These nurses work with victims daily, and sometimes perpetrators of violence, providing compassionate, ethical and evidence based care. A big THANK YOU for the work you do and the incredible impact you have on your patients and the community.

The Meriter Hospital SANE program was established in 1988 and is the only program of its kind in Dane County. The 350+ patients SANE nurses cared for in 2010 included both women and men, ranging in age from infancy to elderly.  It requires a delicate balance of providing compassion and empathy to the patient while doing a medical-forensic exam.

In addition to caring for patients, the SANE program also educates the community about sexual assault and care of victims.  In 2010 the program educated over 500 people from a variety of settings.

What is a Forensic Nurse?
A forensic nurse provides specialized care for patients, both victims and perpetrators of violence.
Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are the largest subspecialty of forensic nurses in the US. They have specialized education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of the patient who has experienced sexual assault or abuse. SANEs work collaboratively with others in the community such as: advocates, law enforcement, and legal professionals to assure that the care they deliver to sexual assault patients is appropriate and compassionate. Working collaboratively is essential to assure the SANE facilitates access to services within these systems.  Vice President Joseph Biden said in a commentary written in 2006, “Forensic Nurses play an integral role in bridging the gap between law and medicine”.

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