Ellen Johnson, Regions Hospital SANE program educator, said that the residency program focuses on nurse examiners with little or no experience.
The new residency program developed by Regions Hospital’s SANE program and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing focuses on supporting nurse examiners who serve rural and Indigenous communities around the country. The residents shadow working nurse examiners as they treat patients who are seeking medical care after a sexual assault.
The SANE residency is the first of its kind in Minnesota, and one of only a few in the United States. It is coordinated through a three-year grant administered by the University of Minnesota called Strengthening Forensic Nursing. Grant funding helps to pay for participants’ transportation and lodging.
Ellen Johnson, Regions Hospital SANE program educator, said that the residency program focuses on nurse examiners with little or no experience. “Perhaps they work in an area where they are not going to see many patients every year, and it would benefit them to come to us and participate in care,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that she and her colleagues see any patient who comes to Regions in St. Paul, St. John’s in Maplewood, Woodwinds in Woodbury and Lakeview in Stillwater and would like an exam for sexual assault. “We will come and see any patient who reports being sexually assaulted within 10 days of their sexual assault. We respond and partner with advocacy organizations to support the patient.” While SANEs provide emotional support during an exam, she said that staff from advocacy organizations, like Ramsey County’s SOS Sexual Violence Services, are there to provide short-term counseling, advocacy and safety planning: elements that are key to the process.