Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners: Support and Standards Across State Lines

*This episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners including descriptions of sexual assault and traumatic events. Listener discretion is advised

Continuing our special series highlighting access to care, this episode features conversations with sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) across the country about new national standards under development to improve care for victims. This summer the National Institute for Standards and Technology launched the effort with support from the Department of Justice and the International Association of Forensic Nurses. We will learn from nurses how important this initiative is to advance and sustain care for victims of sexual assault.

This episode builds from a previous episode where we highlighted Penn-State’s SAFE-T Center’s innovative program to close a gap in services offering telehealth support medical practices in rural and underserved areas. We encourage you to learn more about their work on our feature here:

Vikki Vodosia, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P

We start with Vikki Vodosia, a SANE at Children's Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services in Birmingham, Alabama. Vikki explains how rape kits can be different from state to state and what that means for survivor care, evidence collection, and more.


Later, we'll hear from SANE Kayce Ward, a Forensic Nurse Program Manager at the Center of Excellence in Forensic Nursing College of Nursing at Texas A&M University and of the Texas Teleforensic Remote Assistance Center (Tex-TRAC). Kayce shares how rape kits have been standardized across Texas in recent years and how this has improved care for survivors.

Caitlin Yerkes

Caitlin Yerkes is a Forensic Nurse Examiner in Virginia and a telecine expert consultant at Penn State’s SAFE-T Center. SAFE-T stands for Sexual Assault Forensic Examination - Telehealth. This initiative pairs more experienced SANEs with less experienced providers to team up on exams using telehealth, including across state lines. Caitlin virtually supports Pennsylvania-based providers from her home outside Washington, D.C.

 Read the Transcript 


At the Core of Care highlights the consumer experience of patients, families, and communities and the creative efforts of nurses and other partners to better meet their health and healthcare needs through diversity, leadership, and practice innovation.

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