New Full-Time Program at UMC Supports Assault Victims

New Full-Time Program at UMC Supports Assault Victims February 13, 2017
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Victims of sexual assault in El Paso will be receiving a new level of support through a permanent program beginning today at University Medical Center of El Paso. The UMC Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program is the first and only with certified full-time, 24/7 program of its kind in El Paso, specifically structured to provide a range of services for acute sexual assault victims.

“We have had SANE trained and certified nurses at our hospital for some time,” said Gloria Salazar, manager of Trauma Education, Prevention SANE Program. “Our CEO (Jacob Cintron, UMC President & CEO) supported our efforts and made it possible for us to build a full-time program.”

As the only Level 1 Trauma Center in a 280-mile radius of El Paso, this expansion of the previous SANE services at UMC to a full-time program ensures that the highest level of care is available at all times to all sexual assault patients, regardless of age or gender. All of the SANE nurses at UMC have completed an extensive training and certification process through the Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and all are certified to provide care for pediatric, adolescent and adult patient populations. The certification process can take up to two years to complete. “We have five full-time SANE nurses as well as other SANE staff to ensure back up coverage, if needed,” added Salazar.

“Ensuring the prompt, correct treatment services are provided to sexual assault victims is something all hospitals in El Paso take seriously,” said Mr. Cintron. “Our nurses have assisted, and continue to assist, SANE services and healthcare facilities throughout El Paso. The open dialogue we have to support each other is especially heartening and so important for our community. We want to continue to share training opportunities, draw from each other’s experiences, and continue to strengthen the fabric of support our El Paso healthcare community has when it comes to SANE services.”

In this connection, the Texas Office of the Attorney General approved UMC’s SANE program to provide an 80-hour didactic SANE training regimen, as well as UMC’s coordination and assistance in the process of educating, training and mentoring El Paso nurses at UMC and other hospitals who want to become certified SANE.

“El Paso is one of only a handful of communities in Texas that were approved to provide this training as it requires certified SANE nurses who are experienced and have extensive knowledge in this specialty in order to be able to provide the training and mentor nurses through the process and beyond,” added Mr. Cintron.

Since 2014 UMC has provided two SANE training sessions with other community hospitals, such as The Hospitals of Providence (THOP), and UMC will be completing its third SANE training program in partnership with THOP on Friday (Feb. 17). The training is broken into both adult/adolescent and pediatric course sections. This current class of nurses is the largest to date, with 21 nurses attending.

Nurses attending UMC’s SANE Training sessions are from multiple hospitals and healthcare settings throughout El Paso.

UMC’s SANE Program also provides a four-hour evidence collection class for emergency department nurses who work at UMC as well as other hospitals in the community. State law (Health and Safety Code 323) requires that registered nurses who are employed in emergency departments receive training on evidence collection and care of the sexual assault patient. This training includes content on legal/reporting requirements, sensitivity training, documentation, history-taking skills, use of the sexual assault kit, evidence collection, survivor symptoms, and emotional and psychological support interventions for sexual assault patients.