I am a male SANE certified in both child and adult sexual assault forensic examinations. I have never experienced any problem with any patient. On a rare occasion a few are skeptical about the exam, sometimes about me, but mostly what I am going to do during the exam. Explaining to them step-by-step what will occur, guaranteeing their comfort, safety and modesty every step of the way, and letting them know they
are in charge of the exam puts them at ease. They know they can stop the exam any time and ask questions or just take a rest, talk to me about their favorite movies, music, etc., and we proceed only when they are ready. They have made me an expert on Hannah Montana, Britney, Dora, Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Beyonce
. After the exam I almost always gets hugs of appreciation from patients and mom's for my attention to their comfort, gentleness, and post-exam teaching about the colposcope images taken, STD education, injuries, healing, follow-up needs, etc. Several adult patients and mothers of peds patients have asked me if they could return in the future for me to do their annual PAPs because I was "so kind and professional." Unfortunately I must decline because that is not the scope of my practice. It is all in your professional approach. I spend an hour or more talking with patients and mom's (or other guardian) before beginning the exam. Introduce yourself, let them know your credentials and experiences. Help them realize it's all about them
and absolutely nothing is going to happen that they do not want to happen. I have patients and moms call me months later to thank me again, and give me updates on their post-assault recovery. Some have said the day they came to see me they had no idea what was going to happen, how to handle what had happened, what to do, where to go, who to turn to, and that I got them going in the right direction, gave them courage, listened to them without judgment, and they're "going to be ok now." That's what it's all about. When a little one, teen or adult woman comes to you for a sexual assault exam treat them like a real
princess. Help them understand they are the only thing in the universe that matters at that moment. Anything less is unacceptable.