I had planned on taking the week long sart course offered at my hospital. I have the course approved and I am all signed up for it.
My last shift proved to me that I am not cut out to be a sart nurse. I need any advice and help y'all can give me.
I will try not to bore you with the details...But...
Yesterday was "boy day" in the ER. We were laughing because we are usually over-run with "girl" nurses. We had waaay more "boys" then "girls" yesterday. I had triaged for 8 hours and was ready to choke the next n/v/d x 3months that came in the door, my charge took pity on me and set me free to "resource" A 15yo "rape" victim came in. The only other female nurse was truly up to her armpits in pt care. It would have taken hours for me to get report and let her do the rape. So against my better judgement and with the prodding of our ER doc who said he would "walk me through" this...I ended up being the primary nurse on this case. It was an ugly one. I had never done this before (only observed) I was compassionate and caring and I know that I was comforting to this poor kid...But, I don't think I collected some of the evidence properly...I feel just sick about this. The other female nurse had done a "few" rape kit collections and talked me through it, but she had told me that I was to collect all the swabs. Which I did. But the doc came in when I was done, pulled me into the hall and said that HE was to have collected all the swabs...I also let the police officer talk to her before I gathered my evidence...I didn't know that we took priority over law enforcement.
Basically I am freaking out that I may have accidently damaged a court case with my inexperience.
I know that I will refuse the next "sexual assault" that comes my way. But what now? will I be called in to court?
The 15yo was drinking...she made some really poor decisions, but she truly was raped...But she is unable to id her attacker (or unwilling) But, if they find them the dna evidence I collected must be perfect... and I am afraid it isn't.
Oct 1, '06
I can imagine your anxiety about this. Yes, it could be a problem later due to specimens not obtained per protocol, chain-of-command, etc.
Don't be discouraged, however, if this is something in which you are interested. Just observe and learn your hospital's protocols/policies regarding the procedures. Please, don't NOT take the the course. You are interested and this is a great start (the course). You'll feel much
more confident afterwards. And, get down your hospital's P&P........
Last edit by sirI on Oct 1, '06
Mar 5, '08
Quote from andhow5
In Indiana, cases are getting thrown out by this simple question in court, "Are you (the nurse) specially trained, or certified in any way to collect these specimens?"
I'm not SANE certified, but I've been forced to learn on the job, and frankly I hate the pressure. One tiny mistake can throw out the case. IMO police officers should have SANE people on call, or even if the rape crisis lines had SANEs on call
it would make more sense than having people come to the ER and try to fit them in with MVA and chest pains, but not appear rushed.
My impresson of the exam was that I am totally capable of collecting swabs, and YES I have been specially trained and have lots of experience with that. What I don't have experience with is the emotional reactions, and the legal landmines. If called to court I would say that the swabs are accurate, but if you start to try to find legal reasons to throw out the case it won't take long....
I didn't become a nurse to tangle with the legal system.:angryfire
Last edit by canoehead on Jun 5, '08