Mock sexual assault trial provides state nurses with vital training

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX)- Nurse after nurse took the witness stand Friday morning. They were then questioned by lawyers about their patient's injuries after a sexual attack.

This was a mock trial.  Instructor Shalotta Sharp said sexual assault cases are real life situations that many Mississippi nurses may have to play a part in quite often. This week of training is showing the women just how much physical and mental work it takes.

"It is a very personal crime," Sharp said. "These nurses testify to the physical examination they did on the patient, the treatment they administered to her and the sample collections.

Ocean Springs Nurse Janett Stevens said she was a bit overwhelmed when testifying, but she's glad she participated in the mock trial.

"I didn't realize how much I didn't know about sexual assault victims, but now I will be able to give them the best care possible."

Stevens' co-worker Rachele Newman said the nursing course and trial were challenging, but she learned the importance of being factual and detailed in her profession.

"No matter what your personal opinion is as a nurse or a person, you have to remain a non-bias person."

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Training is a five-day- 40 hour course. Instructor Sharp said after completing the course, the nurses have the option of taking an exam to get their certification.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.