Forensic Healthcare Online

On-line continuing education information for forensic healthcare professionals

Guest Post: Evaluating SANE Trainers

with 3 comments

I’m pleased to welcome Jennifer Pierce Weeks to Forensic Healthcare Online. As a clinician, administrator, national trainer and President of IAFN, she is another one of those folks who spends a lot of time talking with people in the field, and has a great perspective on healthcare-focused, patient-centered, sustainable programming.

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the issue of quality in SANE/SAFE education. There are no mandated qualifications for who provides the education, so caveat emptor is the rule of the day. IAFN does not police training, but provides education guidelines that describe the minimum body of knowledge all SANEs/SAFEs should possess (there are also training standards for sexual assault forensic examiners (PDF) around the National Protocol). Needless to say, some of the education out there is definitely better than others.

Choosing a trainer is an important step, and knowing how to evaluate the qualifications of your prospective trainer is critical. It’s particularly challenging if you’re just starting a program and don’t have the SANE/SAFE clinical background or experience yet. So here are some guidelines that should help if you’re considering bringing someone in to train for your agency or community.  (Thanks, Jen!)

Evaluating a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Trainer
Jennifer Pierce-Weeks, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P

Prior to committing to a trainer obtain the following:

•    Copy of the trainer’s Curriculum Vitae or Resume (from trainer)
•    Outline of course content with time frames(from trainer)
•    Copy of the IAFN SANE Educational Guidelines (from IAFN)
•    All costs associated with hiring the trainer (from trainer)

Things to consider in making your selection (not necessarily deal-breakers, but certainly issues you probably want to think about):

  1. Is the trainer currently practicing as a SANE for the patient population they will be training on?
  2. Does the trainer possess the IAFN SANE-A and/or SANE-P certifications?
  3. Does the trainer have previous training experience?  If so, ask for an example of their evaluations.
  4. Is the trainer willing to give references where s/he has previously trained?
  5. Is the trainer providing the nursing CE credits, or will that be handled by another party?
  6. Are the following consistent with the IAFN SANE Education guidelines: hours of training required, content required.
  7. Just because a trainer says they meet the IAFN Education Guidelines, does NOT mean they do, compare the trainer’s course content with the Education Guidelines.
  8. Is the trainer willing to negotiate fees based on your program’s budget?
  9. Can you justify the trainer cost taking into consideration overall program management and sustainability issues?
  10. What if any training materials will be provided to the class? In what format?
  11. Is the content nursing focused?
  12. Will the content be molded to meet the specific needs of the community (ie: local statutes and protocols)?
  13. What if any technical assistance will be provided post-training?
  14. Will the trainer be providing any clinical training, or strictly classroom?

Remember, you are hiring this person.  As an employer you should know their clinical and teaching background, be able to easily identify the trainer as a content expert, and confirm his/her ability as a trainer through evaluation and reference checks.

If you think we’ve forgotten something, or have feedback on any of the ones included, please feel free to do so in the Comments section. This is one of those items ripe for some dialog.


Written by Jenifer

July 7, 2009 at 11:20 am

3 Responses

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  1. Thank you Jens… these guidelines should provide the framework for planning a rock-solid training.
    An additional (and important) thing to plan for is what happens AFTER the training. Who will be responsible for monitoring the completion of practicums/observations? Who will be signing off on competencies and clinical performance evaluations? If a program is newly established, this may be a bit of a challenge. Looking forward to more conversation about this…

    Valorie Prulhiere

    July 8, 2009 at 8:35 am

  2. Val,
    I could not agree more! JPW


    July 8, 2009 at 9:48 am

  3. Great tips. I would also add if you are bringing in a trainer from another state that you make sure the trainer is going to be familiar with and meet that state’s training standards (if there are specific ones for that state) in addition to the national training standards. In addition, the trainer should be familiar with your state laws surrounding sex crimes, the state nurse practice act, as well as case law or legal decisions regarding forensic nurse expert testimony in your state and community.

    Tara Henry

    July 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

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