Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

MCHS hopes to help more sexual assault victims with SANE nurses

"It's important because a lot of these patients, they want justice," Krystle Alexander, MCHS SANE nurse said.

ODESSA, Texas — Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, ie SANES say it's a private, healthy, caring and safe environment at Medical Center Health System for victims of exploitation. 

These nurses are trained extensively with 80 hours of one-on-one meetings with patients of all ages and completion of an 80-hour didactic course. 

They are then certified by the office of the Attorney General.

"The first part is we bring the patient in and we talk to them, find out kind of what happened, when this happened, any kind of circumstances around it and see if they need any kind of medical treatment, medical clearance prior to anything else," Krystal Alexander said.

After this step, the nurses ask more in-depth questions, treat patients if necessary, perform an assessment and collect forensic evidence if needed. 

SANE nurses are certified in putting SANE kits together and there are two options with these kits. 

They can either be non-report or report. 

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Non-report kits go to a DPS warehouse until the victim is ready to prosecute. 

Report kits go to a law enforcement official to continue the process of seeking justice. 

"A lot of these patients, they want justice, that's what the forensic evidence part is and so we want to help make sure that we're collecting evidence correctly and doing the best by the patient," Alexander said.

If the case is reported, a SANE nurse is one of the only neutral parties in the case.

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"So we're the only testimony from the patient, the story that we get from the patient is the only one that's able to be told in the court of law besides the patient themselves," Alexander said.

The role of a SANE nurse is very important.

"They need us because they need to know that they're healthy. We can get them on the road to recovery. We want to make them physically well and mentally well and in a lot of cases that's the first step," Alexander said.

For MCHS SANE Nurse Krystle Alexander, the feeling of reward is what keeps her going.

"It's definitely trying sometimes, but the biggest reward is to know that you've done a good thing and you've tried to help these people because when they come here sometimes they're at their worst," Alexander said. 

And these nurses are laser-focused on getting them back to their best.

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