SANE stands for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. SANE nurses care for patients who have been sexually assaulted or abused. SANE nurses have specialized education and training and work in collaboration with the patient, law enforcement, advocates, and medical providers to provide the best care for the patient.
My first position as a SANE nurse started at the Marshalltown Hospital. I was working as an ICU nurse and was approached with this opportunity via the education team. I thought this might be an area of nursing where I really felt I was making a difference in our community as a whole and decided I would like to do the training. After my first case, I have always said if I could do this kind of work full time, I would. I love being a SANE nurse and being a part of our local SART team and our SANE nursing team. I really feel like we are doing work that is going to ultimately better our community.
My advice is for anyone thinking about choosing SANE is to really think about why you want to do it. Is it a career goal? Is there a need in your community? Do you just want the initials behind your name? Being a SANE nurse, and any nursing position, takes commitment and dedication to serving others. It is also the most rewarding career choice. To be a SANE nurse, you must have the ability to ALWAYS believe the patient, to have compassion with the most unsavory cases, to able to be objective in ALL cases, and just take care of the patient. Regardless of the hours of all day or night, no matter the circumstances surrounding the case and patient, and most of all, just to love people.
Looking back, I wanted to be an OB nurse for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be a nurse to help other people, specifically OBGYN, yet I have never once worked in our OB department! I realized early on that cardiac was not my specialty, however, I fell in love with the ICU. I have spent years working on our Med/Surg Floor, ICU and now as a PRN employee with our ER as a SANE nurse. During the week I work as a School District Nurse. I never saw myself as a school nurse but I love my position and the flexibility it provides to continue to do SANE work on weekends, breaks and over the summer. My heart fell in love with our hospital in 2007 when I started as a CNA on the Med/Surg floor. I continue to love this hospital and my coworkers and I am excited to see this SANE program continue to grow. It is definitely work that is very close to my heart.