Our Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner (“SANE or SAFE nurse”) consultant has expert qualifications in sexual assault, sexual abuse, forensic evidence collection and testimony. The goal of an expert opinion to provide education to the consulting legal professional. An expert consultation by our highly experienced SANE/SAFE nurse includes:
- Does the SANE or SAFE nurse documentation accurately represent the injury?
- Have proper protocols been followed in the SANE or SAFE evidence collection process?
- What are the SANE or SAFE nurse examiner’s qualifications?
- Have the reported injuries by the SANE or SAFE nurse been correctly identified and have they been reviewed through supervision and peer review methods?
- Have the forensic evidence collection (“rape kit”) process, patient history and medical evaluation been conducted and documented in an objective, non-biased manner?
- Are there other conditions which may mimic what the SANE or SAFE nurse found?
- What is the current literature exists regarding the issues in the case?
What is a Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner Expert (SANE or SAFE)
A Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) is a nurses (or other health care professional) who has received specialized training and in performing the forensic medical/legal examination element of patient care related to sexual assault or abuse concerns. The role of a SANE or SAFE nurse is to serve on the health care team as a knowledgable resource for documentation of potential forensic evidence. Best practice dictates collaboration, supervision and ongoing peer review with physician colleagues.
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What is a SANE or SAFE Exam?
A SANE nurse’s role is to provide objective, evidence based care for patients presenting with concerns of sexual assault or abuse. This includes history taking; documentation of anatomy (specifically skin and genital injuries); forensic evidence collection & handling, chain of custody preservation with objective documentation of physical findings. Nurse Examiners must demonstrate proficiency in taking the assault history, genital and anal examination, evidence collection, descriptive nomenclature, and (depending upon their practice setting) use of tools and technology such as speculum, colposcope, anoscope, woods lamp, and digital camera. The examiner uses a standardized form on which to record subjective and objective findings, and specialized kti for evidence collection. The examiner’s job is to document and collect potential evidence, to assess for injury, to offer prophylactic treatment, and to provide support through referral and advocacy services.
Expertise for a Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner Expert (SANE or SAFE)
Forensic nurses should seek to advance nursing and forensic science, understand the limits of their knowledge, and respect the truth. Forensic nurses should ensure that their research and scientific contributions are thorough, accurate and unbiased in design and presentation. Forensic nurses should incorporate evidence based knowledge in practice decisions.
Evaluation Process by Sexual Assault Forensic Nurse Examiner Expert
When reviewing a case in the context of a second opinion, materials utilized may include:
- Police Reports
- Lab Reports
- Patient Statements
- Defendant Statements
- Witness Statements
- Summary of Charges
- Photo Documentation
- Medical Exam Reports & Narratives
- Preliminary Hearing Transcripts
- Investigators Reports
- Follow up medical exams