SANE Program

What is a SANE and Their Duties?

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) are Nurses who have advanced training in giving medical assessment/treatment and evidence collection for victims of sexual assault. SANEs display compassion and acknowledge the patient’s dignity during every step of the examination. The SANE response may include a test for pregnancy, medications to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics that prevent sexually transmitted infections, assessment for injury, and community referrals (limited exam).

A full exam includes a head-to-toe physical assessment (referrals will be made for serious injuries), documentation of injuries including photographs, and collection of evidence. Emergency medical attention by Emergency staff always takes priority over the SANE exam. The SANE needs informed consent from the sexual assault patient. The patient must be able to understand, agree, and sign for each part of the exam. The only exceptions to this are in the cases of child abuse, mentally challenged patients, or elder abuse. The SANE needs information about the patient’s medical stability, ability to give informed consent, special needs, and will schedule a time to meet the patient at the SANE exam room unless the sexual assault victim is already at the Emergency Department.

Important Information Concerning the SANE Exam A sexual assault exam should be done within 5 days of the assault for 13 years of age and older or 3 days of the assault for 12 years old and younger. The sooner the exam is done, the better. Encourage the patient to bring the clothes they were wearing when they were assaulted. If they are still wearing the clothes, ask them to bring a change of clothing. If the assault was recent, discourage the patient from eating, drinking, or bathing until the exam can be conducted. SANE programs are equipped to do only one sexual assault exam at a time. Each exam can take 2 to 4 hours and some exams may take longer. A sexual assault adult patient does not need to file a police report to receive SANE services.

There is no cost to the sexual assault patient for services provided by SANE.

How Do I Contact a SANE Nurse?

SANE nurses are on-call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are not physically on-site. To dispatch a SANE nurse, call the SANE cell phone 430-9485, the CHRISTUS Health Emergency Department 443-7901, or a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART): Victim Advocate on call emergency line 430-4433, 24 Hour Rape Crisis Line 437-7404, or the Holloman SARC 24 hour line 572-6789.