Improving DNA Evidence Collection Kits with The Communicator

Improving DNA Evidence Collection Kits with The Communicator

Improving DNA Evidence Collection Kits with The Communicator

Dr. Anne McIntosh, President of Safe’N’Clear, and Teresa Robertson RN, CNM, MS

Teresa Robertson, RN, CNM, MS, SANE

When Teresa Robertson, RN, CNM, MS, SANE, (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) administers a SANE exam, one of her goals is to provide trauma-informed care during the important process of collecting forensic evidence. Ensuring that the physical and emotional safety of an individual is addressed is the first important step to providing Trauma-Informed Care. Robertson knows that the SANE exam has the potential to be an opportunity for healing and educating victims.

Given recent advances in DNA processing, it is important for SANE RN’s, to take great care to make sure their own DNA is not mixed up with the DNA collection kit. As a result SANE RN’s now need to wear protective masks during SANE exams. Unfortunately, as SANE nurses add these layers of protection for the DNA collection, their “humanity” gets covered up and making the interaction less personalized.

As part of providing trauma informed care and building rapport, Robertson uses The Communicator masks by Safe’N’Clear as a powerful tool to build rapport and to allow the sexual assault patients to see her warm, compassionate, and reassuring smile. This “small act” is HUGE for the patients and their healing process. Connecting with the patients is the beginning of healing and establishing an interpersonal rapport that can start the process of victims being open to further resources and help. The Communicator mask fosters inclusion and accessibility and removes the barrier that conventional masks have.

The Communicator Mask

Teresa Robertson, RN, CNM, MS, SANE and Dr. Anne McIntosh are working now with other SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner programs to consider adding two Communicator masks with a clear window to all forensic collection kits. While the addition of the masks with clear window seems like a small measure, the inclusion and accessibility are HUGE for the patients and their SANE providers. Safe’N’Clear is proud to be working with the many Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) to change the face of healthcare for their patients.

If you are interested in learning more about The Communicator or how the mask can be used for positive and clear communication, then please reach out to the Safe’N’Clear team.