Internet Explorer 11 is not supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

To Aid Rape Victims, Illinois Now Requires Nurses to Be Trained

All sexual assault victims who enter an Illinois emergency room will soon be treated by a nurse trained to care for them.

By Alison Bowen

All sexual assault victims who enter an Illinois emergency room will soon be treated by a nurse trained to care for them.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Friday night that will require hospitals to train enough medical providers in how to treat sexual assault patients that when a victim arrives, a trained provider is present within 90 minutes. Hospitals will have until Jan. 1, 2022, to comply.

An earlier Tribune investigation found that although experts recommend that rape victims be treated by providers trained in that specialty, few nurses undergo the training. The care a patient receives can depend on which emergency room he or she goes to and when; one hospital may have multiple sexual assault nurse examiners on staff while another has none.

The Illinois attorney general’s office has for years provided free training for Illinois nurses, but many say they have not been able to attend or complete it because of a lack of time or money. Nurses often spend their own time to attend training programs and their own money to travel to them.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Friday that since 2003, her office has provided the classroom portion of training to more than 1,600 nurses across the state, but just 188 nurses practicing in Illinois emergency departments have completed the full training, which includes practicing genital exams and observing testimony in court.

Advocates have long said that more nurses should undergo training; government and health experts say it’s beneficial both to those who have experienced trauma and to providers who handle medical evidence. Madigan pushed for the legislation, saying experienced nurses provide stronger evidence, which leads to bolstered prosecutions and more criminals in prison.

Special Projects
Sponsored Stories
Sponsored
In recent years, local governments have been forced to adapt to a wildly changing world, especially as it pertains to sending bills and collecting payments.
Sponsored
Workplace safety is in the spotlight as government leaders adapt to a prolonged pandemic.
Sponsored
While government employees, students and the general public had to wait in line for hours in the beginning of the pandemic, at-home test kits make it easy to diagnose for the novel coronavirus in less than 30 minutes.
Sponsored
Governments around the nation are working to design the best vaccine policies that keep both their employees and their residents safe. Although the latest data shows a variety of polarizing perspectives, there are clear emerging best practices that leading governments are following to put trust first: creating policies that are flexible and provide a range of options, and being in tune with the needs and sentiments of their employees so that they are able to be dynamic and accommodate the rapidly changing situation.
Sponsored
Service delivery and the individual experience within health and human services (HHS) is often very siloed and fragmented.
Sponsored
In this episode, Marianne Steger explains why health care for Pre-Medicare retirees and active employees just got easier.
Sponsored
Government organizations around the world are experiencing the consequences of plagiarism firsthand. A simple mistake can lead to loss of reputation, loss of trust and even lawsuits. It’s important to avoid plagiarism at all costs, and government organizations are held to a particularly high standard. Fortunately, technological solutions such as iThenticate allow government organizations to avoid instances of text plagiarism in an efficient manner.
Sponsored
Creating meaningful citizen experiences in a post-COVID world requires embracing digital initiatives like secure and ethical data sharing, artificial intelligence and more.
Sponsored
GHD identified four themes critical for municipalities to address to reach net-zero by 2050. Will you be ready?