UAMS launches sexual assault program, helping rural hospitals & clinics

KNWA

"We are doing our best to get the best exams, to get the best evidence collection that we can possibly get for them."

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — New equipment helping connect emergency rooms to trained sexual assault nurse examiners is being implemented across the state.

This is going to be huge. There’s currently not state standardization of adult sexual assault care.

KACIE PARRISH, NWA SANE COORDINATOR

With just a click of a button, sexual assault victims and the nurses helping them can be connected with a trained professional who can guide them through a sexual assault exam.

There’s definitely a deficit in the state of Arkansas, and really across the country for this type of care.

SHERRIE SEARCY, UAMS TELESANE PROGRAM

Thanks to new equipment from UAMS’s TeleSANE (Serving Arkansas Neighbors Everywhere) program, 73 locations in Arkansas will receive one of these telemedicine machines.

Each contains a webcam and a hand held scope.

We are raising the bar in the state of Arkansas.

KACIE PARRISH, NWA SANE COORDINATOR

TeleSANE Assistant Director Sherrie Searcy said this program will provide high-quality care for survivors.

“We’re trying to help avoid that revictimization that happens over and over again when patients come into the ER,” Searcy said. “The expertise is not there.”

NWA SANE Coordinator Kacie Parrish said it will also take a load off of the busy ER staff.

“With chest pains, strokes, trauma, they aren’t able to sit down, process, and explain these things,” she said.

Parrish also said it’ll help rural hospitals lacking resources.

They don’t all have access to full-time trained sexual assault examiners, but now they do!

KACIE PARRISH, NWA SANE COORDINATOR

Both Parrish and Searcy said this program is designed to make sure patients get holistic care, no matter where they go.

“When they leave, they’re going to leave better than they came, they’re going to leave feeling… one step closer to that healing that they need to be able to recover after that sexual assault,” Searcy said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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