Forensic nurses help people in their greatest time of need

WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) -- Sexual assault nurse examiners are trained for a very special purpose. They meet with patients on some of the most traumatic and vulnerable moments of their lives.

"It does get difficult to listen to all the trauma of the patients and it can take an emotional toll on you," said Ascension Forensic Nurse Program Coordinator Tracy Flemming.

The nurses that take care of sexual assault patients are trained for a variety of circumstances.

"It's just like if five people were all in the same car accident. They would have five different reactions to it. All five would respond in a different way. It's the same way after any kind of abuse. So we learn ways to approach people in trauma sensitive nature," Flemming explained.

A victim is able to receive treatment for an assault at any time after the incident. But for the best medical results, the hospitals need to treat patients sooner rather than later.

"After an assault they only have a certain amount of days until evidence from their body is gone and can no longer be collected. So time is of the essence and the sooner the better for the best medical outcome and the best evidence outcome," Flemming added.

The workday for the nurses is as stressful and difficult as they come. But for them, it's about helping people in their greatest time of need.

"Personally I always say to myself I wasn't there to prevent it, but now I'm in a position that I can help them go through this whole process," Flemming said.

You can find the classes at Ascension by clicking the link below: