[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Hi. I just saw your post today. Hope my responses are not too late:
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]What surprised you about the job? I went through a very thorough SANE training program, so there were not any real surprises. I have also been in nursing many years so there's not much that I haven't already experienced. I think perhaps the only true surprise was finding out how little teens know about sex, STIs, and even their own A&P, and that such a high percentage of young women and even their parents think the vagina is closed at birth and remains closed until the first intercourse act.
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]What you love? All of it. Young children and adults come to me in perhaps what is and always be will be the darkest moment during their lives, when they have been sexually assaulted. To get them during such a fragile state and help them physically, emotionally, spiritually, and begin their healing processes has a positive life-long impact on them. And their families
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]What you hate? All of it. I love what I do but the fact that we need professionals dedicated to victims of sexual assault reminds me constantly how messed up our society is. I work full time as a SANE and there are 4 other full-time SANEs in my department. Our work never stops. That's just wrong.
"[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]What challenges does this field face in general?" Sexual assault exams are not a big money maker for the hospital because of limited reimbursement from the state crime victims' fund. And any time there is a Republican governor and/or president in office we see frozen funding and are in constant fear of losing funding because funds get shifted from social programs to special corporate interests.
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]How often are you subpoenaed? Maybe one in 75 cases. Most cases lead to plea deals before going to a jury.
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Do you work in the ED or another field as well, or just as a SANE? My program is a separate hospital-based program.
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]I think volunteering with a rape crisis center would be a very valuable experience to help transition later into the SANE role. Good luck!