PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Nearly 75 nurses from across the state of Illinois made their way to Peoria for a Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner (SANE) in-seat portion of training which ran from Tuesday through Thursday.

The nurses were given the training for adult and adolescent SANE training so that they could become qualified and give the best care possible for survivors of sexual assault, according to OSF’s media relations coordinator Matt Sheehan.

“To make sure that we have enough qualified medical providers across the state, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office provides SANE training in collaboration with health systems. OSF HealthCare has been very proactive in making it clear that we would like to host training and work with the Attorney General’s Office to give as many nurses as possible that are interested the opportunity to get the training,” explains Layne Steffen, program manager of nursing quality and safety and the SANE program for OSF HealthCare.

Illinois law requires hospitals to create and maintain a treatment plan or transfer agreement with a hospital that will treat survivors of sexual assault.

That being said, the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA) also creates different forces around the state with a forensic evidence collection system that helps with the cost of care.

The law requires victims to be treated by qualified providers such as those with SANE training. These nurses undergo months of training to receive their qualifications.

The in-seat training that was held at OSF this week was only the beginning of a months-long journey for the nurses.

“Before the in-seat training, there’s about 16 hours of online pre-work to learn about forensic nursing, some of the basics of anatomy, and some of the basics of the neurobiology of trauma,” Steffen said. “The in-seat training gets much more into the details of the holistic care that’s required for the patient.”

Steffen also said it can take anywhere from four to 12 months to complete all elements of the training which includes being involved in medical forensic exams with victims.

Although the training and work can be tough and long, OSF SANE coordinator Sarah Vance said, it is rewarding in the end because they are the ones who help people survive through those dark days.

To learn more about Illinois SANE training, visit the Attorney General’s website.