SANEs: Who They Are, What They Do, and Why It Matters

SANE nurse consoling a senior patient in a nursing home

The statistics are heartbreaking. According to a survey from the National Center for Injury Prevention & Control and the CDC, 1 in 14 men have experienced a completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. Among women, it’s 1 in 5.

History of sexual assault examinations

Historically, victims of sexual assault who came to the emergency room were often made to wait for hours before being seen because their injuries were not perceived to be urgent. When they were seen, the medical professionals who performed the examinations were often uneducated or insensitive, exposing the victims to further emotional trauma.

The birth of SANEs

It was in answer to this glaring need for training and victim advocacy that SANE programs were born. A Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner (SANE) is a Registered Nurse (RN) or Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) trained to provide specialized care for victims of sexual assault. SANEs operate in a range of settings, from hospitals and clinics to correctional facilities and elder care centers.

As part of the 40-hour training course required for SANE certification, nurses learn how to obtain a detailed patient history and perform a head-to-toe medical examination, including a thorough external genital examination, in which they look for specific assault-related trauma and injuries. SANEs are also trained to document those injuries via written and photographic means, and they are able to collect evidence of sexual assault per chain-of-custody requirements.

Learn more in our post, The Importance of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners.

Learn how to become a SANE

If you’re an RN or APN looking to expand your expertise and provide critical care to some of the most vulnerable members of society, we’d encourage you to learn more about the role of a SANE and the steps it takes to become a SANE.

Elite Learning will soon be releasing the full 40-hour SANE training course for nurses. If you are interested, we also recommend checking out the overview provided in our 1-hour on-demand webinar, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE): Who We Are and What We Do.

View the webinar for FREE when you enter the promo code SANE100 at checkout. Watch now.

This article is based on the 1-hour on-demand webinar Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE): Who We Are and What We Do, presented by Allyson Cordoni, APN, CNP, SANE-A, SANE-P.

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