Advocate Aurora Health Trinity Hospital

Presentation Notes

Quality Improvement poster presented at Nursing Passion: Re-Igniting the Art & Science, Advocate Aurora Health Nursing & Research Conference 2022; November 9, 2022; virtual.


Background: The SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) versus non-SANE medical providers improve the prosecution of sexual assault cases by providing quality forensic exams and expert testimony. In 2021, it was identified that Advocate Trinity had only 1 SANE certified nurse.

Local problem: Due to an increase of sexual assault cases, there are not enough properly SANEs to provide 24/7 emergency department coverage. Our goal is to increase the number of SANE-A and SANE prepared nurses by 20%, which equates to 7 nurses, by the end of 2022.

Method: We sent 5 nurses to SANE-A and SANE training. The training to become a SANE is extensive and requires commitment on the part of the nurse. Initially, it includes a 40-hour virtual didactic course through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Next, an introduction to the forensic course includes an 8 hour in-person class which reviews Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA) in Illinois which focuses on forensic order sets, evidence collection techniques, chain of custody, and photography. Additionally, there is a SANE simulation, 4 hour in-person class to practice medical forensic examination and evidence collection. Thereafter, forensics fundamentals are required which entails the nurse to be given a sexual assault kit to perform the exam. The state of Illinois also requires 15 speculum examinations, 2 medical forensic examinations, summary of entry level adult/adolescent assessment workbook, and a mock exam.

Results/Conclusion: Two nurses are SANE certified, and three nurses are SANE trained and completing necessary steps to be SANE certified.

Implications for practice: When SANE certified nurses are properly trained and educated, they provide a service that is sensitive to the needs of the patient. Higher rates of prosecution were noted when a SANE certified provider was utilized to performed evidence collection, maintained chain of custody, and had detailed documentation. SANEs are considered best practice.

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