Massachusetts to cut down on nursing staff for sexual assault exams

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is planning to replace sexual assault nurse examiners on evenings and weekends later this year with a telehealth model, NBC Boston reported Oct. 6.

Emergency department nurses are to be directed via computer by trained sexual assault examiners under the new model. 

The transition to the hybrid program is set to be complete by Nov. 14, a spokesperson for the health department confirmed to NBC Boston. There are currently eight trained sexual assault nurse examiners, while a minimum of 18 to 20 are required for the program. 

Frank Fredrickson, police chief of Yarmouth (Mass.) Police Department, told NBC Boston the department did not consult with law enforcement on the matter. "Talking with my peers and sexual assault victims, they can't believe that this is even being considered," Mr. Fredrickson said.

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