What to expect: The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program

Saratoga Hospital offers safe and confidential services for sexual assault survivors with complete respect for the patient’s wishes and concerns. These services are automatically available to those patients who come through our emergency department and identify as having been sexually assaulted or abused. 

“We’ll answer questions every step of the way, giving patients the information they need to empower them to make their own calls,” says certified emergency department nurse Michelle Pasquarell, BSN, RN, of Saratoga Hospital. “As the coordinator of our Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, I want our patients to know that we are here for them and what they can expect from our services. Hopefully, people will share this information throughout the community, so everyone will know this program is available.” sane program

Our SANE program at Saratoga Hospital follows New York State guidelines and is comprised of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants specifically trained to care for a patient who has been sexually assaulted. With this program, patients can expect:

• Care offered in a non-judgmental, safe and confidential environment. 

• Trained nurses who are equipped to care for both adolescent and adult patient survivors. 

• Access to medical forensic care guided 24/7 by a sexual assault nurse examiner in person or through telemedicine services. 

• Coordination with rape crisis services at Wellspring to ensure the patient has access to the continued care and emotional support they need following an assault.  

• Decision-making control placed in the hands of the patient every step of the way.  

• Patients decide whether or not they will file a police report. 

• Patients decide which part, if any, of the exam they consent to undergo.  

• Patients may choose minimal care, including being checked for injuries and receiving medications, which can include antibiotics, birth control, STD and HIV treatments. 

• Guidance in all of these areas, with respect given to patients’ final decisions.  

• Patients, no matter when they arrive—day or night, will receive the same level of quality nursing care for which Saratoga Hospital is so well known.   

“Coming forward, allowing us to help, is the first step on a survivor’s path toward healing,” Pasquarell says. “We are very fortunate to have this program available right here in our community, and we are thankful for the funding and grants that enable us to provide it.”

If you are in immediate danger or experiencing a potentially life-threatening injury, call 9-1-1. To receive SANE or other emergency services, please visit or call Alfred Z. Solomon Emergency Center at Saratoga Hospital, 518-583-8313, or your nearest emergency room. For additional sexual assault and domestic violence services in Saratoga Springs, contact Wellspring’s confidential hotline, 24/7, at 518-584-8188. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673. The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault provides this statewide map to help locate your local rape crisis program. Learn more about Saratoga Hospital’s and other SANE programs in this November 21, 2019 news story by WNYT.

Feb 19, 2020 | Categories: Health Information
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