PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Nearly 75 nurses from across the state attended OSF’s ministry headquarters in downtown Peoria for a Sexual Assault Nursing Examiner (SANE) training earlier this week.

The training is designed for nurses to care for and treat survivors of sexual assault. SANE nurses can be trained for pediatrics/adolescents, adults/adolescents, or both. There are separate training packages for each.

Sarah Vance, who is the SANE coordinator at OSF, said she believes treating people is what nursing is all about.

“It’s not about those high stress situations, it’s not about chest compressions or medicine,” Vance continues, “It’s that one on one care, sitting with someone and just talking through everything that they need.”

Vance is one of only around 500 people worldwide that is certified to provide SANE care to both pediatric and adult patients.

The Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act (SASETA) is an Illinois law that requires sexual assault victims to be treated by a qualified medical provider, such as a SANE nurse.

For Layne Steffen, who is the program manager in the Nursing Quality Safety Division at OSF, this shows that the state of Illinois take this issue seriously.

“We have really lagged in understanding the unique needs of a sexual assault survivor, and so the state has put quite a bit of law in place in order that the best care is provided to the patients when they present to the facility,” he said.

Steffen also said the in-seat training provided earlier this week is a stepping stone for nurses wishing to become fully qualified. The process typically takes 4-12 months.

OSF St. Francis Medical Center is equipped to complete medical forensic exams for both children and adults who have experienced sexual assault.