How Mercy Health nurses help sexual assault victims heal
The path to healing for some sexual assault victims often begins with nurses like Kristy Schwetman. Since 2001, Kristy has been a certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE, at Lourdes Hospital.
This year, Kristy was honored for her contributions to end sexual violence. She won a SAMMY award at the 13th annual Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Month Awards in Frankfort.
Kristy describes the 40-hour training that it takes to become a SANE as intense. The job involves working with law enforcement, representatives from the court system and providers of mental and physical health services.
“I see people who have been assaulted in the acute stages of their trauma,” Kristy said. “The healing process starts with me.”
Kristy started working at Lourdes in 1993. She is a member of the Purchase Area Sexual Assault and Child Advocacy Center as well as the McCracken County Sexual Assault Response Team.
“Sometimes victims of violence are scared to report to law enforcement but are willing to seek medical help,” adds Kristy. “I remain compassionate and dedicated to preserving the dignity and helping reduce the psychological trauma experienced by victims of sexual assault.”
Lori Brown, Executive Director of Purchase Area Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center, said she has witnessed the impact that Kristy has made first-hand.
“I cannot express how much we appreciate her and value her commitment to survivors,” she said. “Not only has Kristy worked diligently to ensure victims receive the highest quality trauma-informed services in the Lourdes Emergency Room, but she has also been a driving force in improving the response by professionals at all of our regional hospitals.”
To learn more about how Mercy Health prioritizes compassionate care, visit mercy.com today.