MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Last August, Jennifer Goehring, Chief Nursing Officer at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan told KSNT News they would have a SANE-SART nurse within the next nine months.
Nine months have passed and there still is not a SANE-SART certified nurse at the hospital.
A SANE-SART nurse is a sexual assault nurse examiner who is trained to provide care to rape victims.
Without a SANE-SART nurse in Riley County, the police department has been referring sexual assault victims to other counties such as Geary and Shawnee County.
Detective Brian Johnson with the Riley County Police Department says, “It’s frustrating for us to say the least. Especially, when we’re unable to do everything that we can for the victim.”
He says sometimes this prevents people who’ve been sexually assaulted from pressing charges.
“We’ve seen a number of incidents where then the victims simply don’t want to pursue the matter any further,” Johnson said.
Via Christi has been without a SANE-SART nurse for over a year.
Chief Nursing Officer, Goehring says since we last spoke with her, they have implemented a bridge program at the hospital. This program allows Emergency Nurses the ability to perform a sexual assault kit on victims.
Goehring says the major difference between what her ER nurses, and what SANE-SART nurses can provide, is that a SANE-SART nurses can take pictures that can be used for evidence, her nurses cannot.
Four nurses at Via Christi are preparing to go through the SANE-SART certification program, both online and in person.
Via Christi wants people to know they are working to rebuild the trust they have lost in the community.
KSNT will continue to follow this story. Goehring says her goal is to have the nurses complete the necessary training to become certified by the end of the year.