Penn State expands telehealth program for sexual assault exams

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Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center partnered with Penn State College of Nursing to launch a program that provides sexual assault examinations through telehealth, according to a Dec. 9 news release.

Hershey Medical Center nurses who have completed sexual assault nurse examiner training will work with the College of Nursing's Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth Center, which serves rural and underserved areas through virtual care. SANE nurses work with sexual assault victims to explain their options, including reporting to law enforcement, medical examination and follow-up care.

Using telehealth technology, TeleSANE experts can interact via video with the SANE in the exam room, as well as the patient and advocate.

"Historically, our nurses have provided specialized, compassionate care to victims of sexual assault," said Marie Hankinson, PhD, RN, vice president of nursing for emergency services at Hershey Medical Center, according to the news release. "It has always been our priority to provide a safe space for these patients while documenting the effects of their trauma."

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