Elkridge, MD -The International Association of Forensic Nurses has released the updated 2013 Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Education (SANE) Education Guidelines. These guidelines outline the minimum level of instruction and competency for registered nurses who seek to perform medicolegal-forensic evaluations for adult, adolescent, and pediatric populations.
For the first time ever, the Association will offer this document and all of its educational guidelines for free to the public. This announcement was made in concurrence with Forensic Nurses Week.
When a victim of sexual violence arrives at an emergency department or healthcare facility, he or she is encouraged to undergo thorough medical screening. This examination helps evaluate the patient’s health and psychosocial wellness and serves as the basis for forensic evidence collection that later can be used in legal proceedings. Specialized registered nurses, known as sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) — or other healthcare practitioners who have obtained additional training, clinical practice, and expertise in medicolegal-forensic evaluations — provide this care.
The SANE Education Guidelines help the sexual assault nurse examiner meet the medicolegal needs of those who have been affected by sexual violence, including individual patients, families, communities, and systems. Applying the traditional nursing process and established evidence-based standards of forensic nursing practice, the Guidelines seek to ensure that all patients who report sexual violence and victimization receive competent medicolegal-forensic evaluation, taking into consideration developmental, cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual, and socioeconomic diversity.
“Forensic nursing is an exceptional field that requires extensive training and clinical practice not only because of the impact it can have in a legal setting, but more importantly, because of the medical and psychosocial needs of the patients forensic nurses see,” said Carey Goryl, MSW, CAE, chief executive officer of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.
The International Association of Forensic Nurses first published the SANE Education Guidelines in the late 1990s as a way to standardize the growing number of locally held educational sessions occurring throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries. Registered nurses and other health practitioners who are interested in conducting medicolegal-forensic evaluations typically attend a 40-hour training course that addresses the medical, forensic, legal, and psychosocial needs of people who have experienced sexual violence.
The newest guidelines are the culmination of two years of work by leaders in the SANE community on the needs for educational programs today. The guideline document has been extensively vetted and contains comprehensive and robust reference material.
The International Association of Forensic Nurses is the leader in setting these educational guidelines. Mastery of the content in the guidelines is a requisite for obtaining board certification for caring for Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and Pediatric (SANE-P) populations. The 2013 SANE Education Guidelines standardize SANE education, and inform and inspire the next decade of SANE practice.
This is the first time the Association will offer this document and all of its educational guidelines for free to the public.
“Historically seen as a member benefit and exclusive to members, we would like to see greater adoption of the profession’s educational standards. Allowing open access to the Guidelines seems a fitting way to share this resource,” said Goryl.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF FORENSIC NURSES
With more than 3,000 members from 22 countries, the International Association of Forensic Nurses’ mission is to provide leadership in forensic nursing practice by developing, promoting, and disseminating information internationally about forensic nursing science. The Association also offers certification for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in both Adult/Adolescent (SANE-A) and Pediatric (SANE-P) patient care. In 2012, the Association and the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) launched a new certification through portfolio for Advanced Forensic Nurses.