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Sexual Assault Care Available at Hospitals & Sarah’s Place – Samaritan Health – NoticiasExpress

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People who experience sexual assault can find appropriate and compassionate medical care through Samaritan Health Services – at one of their five hospitals in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties and at the regional center in Albany known as Sarah’s Place.

At Sarah’s Place and at the local hospitals, sexual assault survivors are cared for by registered nurses who have completed the rigorous Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification process. The SANE certification confirms the nurses’ expertise  in providing healing care while helping to preserve vital criminal evidence.

SANE Care at the Coast & the Valley

Jennie Eley, a registered nurse at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital, recently obtained certification as a SANE nurse. Eley, who has worked in the hospital’s Family Birthing Center for more than nine years, explained why she was inspired to obtain the SANE certification.

“Helping to develop a successful program on the coast became a labor of love for me after discovering the absence of local post-assault care for survivors of sexual violence,” Eley said.

“Survivors often are directed to Sarah’s Place for the most appropriate post-assault care, and it’s safe to assume that many people who are already hesitant and fearful may choose not to seek any care at all,” she added. “Our program at the coast is still a work in progress but I’m so proud to be a part of its development.”

At times when a SANE nurse is not available on the coast, assault survivors are offered non-emergency transportation to and from Sarah’s Place, located on the Samaritan Albany General Hospital campus. The center is always open and emphasizes privacy and security, away from the hospital’s trauma center.

The effort to train and certify SANE nurses is supported by the executive leadership at the two Samaritan Health Services hospitals in Lincoln County.

“Receiving medical treatment after a sexual assault is an important part of healing,” said Sam Jones, RN, vice president of Patient Care Services at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. “Survivors of sexual assault are traumatized and vulnerable, so it’s important to have trained nurse examiners who can provide care in a safe environment.”

Sexual assault survivors should know that they can always receive medical care at the hospital without necessarily having to report the crime, Jones said.

“We want to emphasize that if someone has been sexually assaulted, they should come to our emergency room, ideally within 72 hours. They can receive care without reporting to law enforcement,” he said. “At some later point if they do want to report the crime, the evidence has already been safely collected and stored. Above all, we want these individuals to know they can come here for care, support and other resources to help them heal.”

Currently, the Newport hospital has three registered nurses who have received SANE training, and a fourth registered nurse with SANE training is located at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City. Eley is the first of the four to complete the extensive requirements for SANE certification.

What It Takes to Be a SANE Nurse

Samaritan nurses are selected to participate in the SANE training based on their proven commitment to the hospital and the community, their compassion and their desire to learn, Jones said.

Not only are SANE nurses available to provide sensitive and appropriate medical care to survivors after a traumatizing event, they have been trained to collect, document and preserve evidence. Having a SANE nurse in the exam room helps a victim to feel protected and understood and it also increases the likelihood of a successful prosecution.

To obtain SANE certification in Oregon, the medical professional must complete dozens of hours of instruction; perform physical exams; complete sexual assault forensic exams; participate in a law enforcement ride-along or case review; observe a court session, an advocacy program session and the district attorney’s office; and visit the state crime lab.

For more information about sexual assault recovery resources and Sarah’s Place, visit samhealth.org/SarahsPlace or call 541-812-4420.

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