Pittsburg State Nursing students are able to receive Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner training thanks to an $800,288 federal grant announced by U.S. Senator Jerry Moran at the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing.
The grant serves three counties and has trained three students in March, with three more students expected to begin training at the end of April. The PSU/ANE-SANE Project Director for the HRSA grant is Amy Hite, associate professor from the PSU Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing.
“In 2011, I was asking my supervisor for more responsibilities or opportunities at the hospital,” said Wendy Overstreet, currently the only SANE nurse in the Crawford County area. “I was told there was a need for SANEs. I took the SANE-A class and was hooked on the impact that it can have for victims, during one of their most vulnerable times. It’s not easy to do this. You take the emotions of your patients, even when you try not to.”
The SANE Certification begins with taking either an Adult/Adolescent class or a Pediatrics class, both 40 hours that can be completed in person or online. Next, a skills lab covers the clinical portion of the training. After these courses, the nurse can train with another SANE doing exams, and eventually can work independently and after 300 hours of SANE, they can take the certification exam.
“I am working towards taking the SANE-P exam end of this year,” said Overstreet. “(Hite) saw my struggle as the only SANE nurse and decided to turn a class project into an $800,000 grant that will benefit 3 counties.”
Overstreet met Amy Hite at Ascension Via Christi ER where Hite completes her Nurse Practitioner Faculty Practice.
Without the grant, students could be having to pay anywhere from $300 to $700 to receive the SANE training. The grant allows more students to be able to become SANE certified.
“The grant has provided training to three nurses in March and are ready to attend facility training,” said Overstreet. “Three more nurses will be going to training at the end of April. From the ones who have attended I have received positive feedback; they are ready to get started and improve our process.”
Overstreet hopes that training new nurses will allow better care for survivors. Being the only SANE in the area, Overstreet has had to refer some survivors to another facility in a different county.
“With being the only trained nurse in the area I am not always available, so unfortunately patients are referred to other facilities,” said Overstreet. “Through training new nurses, and hopefully starting SANE programs at additional facilities, our patients won’t have to be referred out of the county.”
During Overstreet’s ten years of being the only SANE in the Crawford County area, she has completed around 270 exams.
“Being a SANE will change you,” said Overstreet. “(It) effects your home life. But I wouldn’t change what I do, it is my passion. Even helping one person makes everything else worth it.”