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TTU Group Using $500K Grant To Train Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Group Using $500K Grant To Train Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

A group at Tennessee Tech was awarded $500,000 to help in their endeavors to train nurses to provide comprehensive care to survivors of sexual assault.

Dr. Ann Hellman said that the goal is to get more certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) into the greater Upper Cumberland area.

“Our role as a SANE nurse is to collective objectively the very best evidence that we can from a survivor,” Hellman said. “So that if that survivor wants to go and seek justice through the criminal justice system that we’ve done our part in gathering that evidence so that it can best be used.”

Hellman said that the grant money is being used to help set up training facilities and materials. She said that training consists of working with forensic nurses in an intense 40-hour training program. Hellman said that after the training session and several hundred more hours of work as advocates, court testimonies, or actually doing the exams, nurses can sit to earn their certification.

Hellman said that the university does not have an issue with sexual assault on campus, but wants to be proactive in providing resources for those who experience sexual assault. She said that in starting with helping students, faculty, and staff at Tech, eventually, they can expand the services.

“We don’t have any practicing SANE nurses in our Upper Cumberland region,” Hellman said. “So this was a good way to have a launching point to hopefully get those SANE services out there to the greater Upper Cumberland communities.”

Hellman said that they currently have ten SANE-certified nurses and 6 advocates who are working towards certification. She said that they hope to expand their program, and that any RN with two years of experience that is interested in participating can reach out to her.

Any survivor who is a current Tech student, staff, or faculty member who needs services can call 931-372-6566. After hours, Tennessee Tech Counseling Center is partnering with the organization to use the crisis line 855-206-8997 to connect those who need SANE services with SANE nurses.


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