KEYC - Mayo Clinic Adds Trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

Mayo Clinic Adds Trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners

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Going to the ER can be a tiring and emotional process for anyone but it can be especially confusing for victims of sexual assault.

Erika Boyer-Kern works with the Committee Against Domestic Abuse, she explains, "You can go with a broken arm, or a be served with a gunshot wound; but with a sexual assault they victims are like, 'I don't know what to do. There must be something wrong with me. No one can help me.' I've heard that from clients."

Which is why Mayo Clinic Health System will now use specialized sexual assault nurse examiners, available 24 hours a day for victims of sexual assault.
The purpose is to provide fast, comprehensive, and emotional care for victims without traveling out of their community because before the program, victims seeking care at MCHS Mankato would have to travel to Shakopee or Rochester.
Now trained nurses will be in locations at Mankato, Fairmont, New Prague, Springfield, St James and Waseca.

Chief Nursing Officer with MCHS Ryannon Frederick  says, "Before patients could come and they'd have to wait to get the care. And that's a problem because if patients have to wait they might not wait they might choose to leave and not get the evidence they don't have the emotional care they might need to help them get through these situations so that timing is so important."

As crimes of sexual assault continue to go under-reported compared to other crimes the specialized training gives the nurses could be a reliable resource between the emergency room and the courtroom.

"It's really important for them to have a nurse to collect the evidence appropriately so if it does ever go to court the chain of command is appropriate so it's great for our client to there's someone who's trained there's someone who does this a lot and worked with victims of sexual assault victims who won't be shocked, scared or not know what to do," says Hanna Fischer with C.A.D.A.

It is a service the community is lucky to have... even though they wish they didn't need it.

--KEYC NEWS 12