SGA is in the fundraising stage to bring a team of sexual assault nurse examiners to campus for at least the next three years.
After extensive discussions with the Auburn University medical clinic, SGA got the green light to start the completely student-driven fundraising process. And SGA President Mary Margaret Turton said the team of nurses will be made available to students beginning in early January.
Under the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, the medical clinic would have six nurses certified to perform forensic exams and provide treatment and medication. A private exam room will also be added to the medical clinic.
“Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs are critical components of the recovery process for victims and survivors of sexual assault,” Turton said. “The main purpose of having a SANE program on campus is to provide treatment in the form of forensic exams and necessary medications in a familiar and accessible environment to victims and survivors.”
Currently, the East Alabama Medical Center is the closest place where Auburn students can receive forensic exams. Turton said this poses concerns for transportation, timing and accessibility for victims.
Every 73 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
One of the six nurses at the medical clinic is already going through the necessary training to perform forensic exams, but they will not be able to perform exams at Auburn’s med clinic until the program is officially implemented in January.
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Nurses will be available during normal hours of operation at the med clinic, but patients will have to come a few hours before the end of the day because examinations can take a couple of hours.
With the implementation of the program, all six nurses at the med clinic will be certified to perform exams.
“That’s going to be a really big additional value, because at any point if a patient calls, someone should be able to step out of their typical day-to-day duty,” Turton said. “There’s not just one nurse who can do it.”
Turton added that throughout the process, all parties involved are taking necessary steps to ensure confidentiality.
“We don’t want the survivor to be known if they don’t want to be known,” Turton said. “This needs to be anonymous — this will always be anonymous.”
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