Two hospitals in Eastern Panhandle combine efforts to hire 24/7 sexual assault nurse examiners

West Virginia

If you or someone you know is dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault, there are programs to help. And a program that has existed since the 2000 is now expanding to the Eastern Panhandle to help victims of sexual assault. 

As part of an expansion program for sexual assault victims, Jefferson Medical Center is combining efforts with Berkeley Medical Center to hire seven new full time nurses specifically to care for sexual assault victims.

“What we’re trying to do is revitalize our program and try to grow even more nurses for our own community so that they can stay right here at our hospital or Berkeley,” said Linda Blanc, Administrative director at Jefferson Medical Center. 

The program called SANE stands for sexual assault nurse examiners. How it works is when a patient arrives at either Berkeley or Jefferson Medical Center and consents to the necessary rape testing, those trained nurses will be able to provide the rape kit exam on the spot in privacy.

“It’s important to have the right people in place that are very compassionate that have been educated to handle these things. It takes a special kind of nurse to be able to do that,” said Blanc. 

According to officials, about 25 rape victims between the two counties sought treatment at their hospitals last year, and adding more nurses will provide a more efficient way to help these survivors.
“So to make a schedule to be sure that there is everybody on call every hour of every day is very challenging but something we are very committed to trying to do,” said Blanc. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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