It’s Forensic Nursing Week. Avalon is lucky to have the team of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners it does, led by Chantelle Murphy 💜

“Becoming a SANE arose as a need I identified after working for 18 years in women’s health. I worked primarily with childbearing women and families and within my role as a labour and delivery nurse I saw innumerable women have significant challenges with childbearing as a result of a history of sexual assault trauma. I was trying to help these individuals have a positive birth experience but unfortunately often the birth itself was traumatic rather then the joyful experience the client was hoping it would be.

So, I thought how can I help these people? I realized that the best help I could offer was immediately after the assault. If I could be a resource and support for people in the immediate then I feel I can best help these individuals to not only get the health care they need, but also the referral to community supports and counselling services.

So to answer the question what does it mean to me to be a SANE? It is the most rewarding work I have ever done. I really do feel that I make a difference for these individuals in the moment. I can often see the expressions on their face go from perhaps a bit afraid to somewhat at ease once I begin to speak with them. I know that my being there and able to provide non-judgmental compassionate care after what has likely been one of the most horrible experiences of their lives can make a huge impact on their future interactions with healthcare. Additionally, I am so appreciative that as a SANE I can spend as much time as I need. In our busy healthcare system, it is not often as a nurse that I get to spend as much time as I would like with every patient. The SANE program is a step apart from these concerns. I feel no burden to rush, and I can truly give the client in front of me all my focus and time.”