Vital medical equipment provides highest standard of care for sexual assault victims
The TMC Mega Raffle is funding sophisticated technology to best diagnose, treat and complete a comprehensive forensic exam for victims of sexual assault – the only program of its kind in Southern Arizona.
“It is our priority to provide the most advanced and compassionate care for sexual assault victims during the worst time in their lives,” said Melissa Ritchey, RN, MSN, the director of patient care services at the TMC Emergency Department. “The highly specialized colposcope enhances the ability to diagnose sexual trauma, allowing for the most accurate care for the victim and providing expert forensic documentation to support law enforcement investigations.”
The colposcope allows for clear, magnified examination, and is the centerpiece of a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to caring for sexual assault victims.
At the TMC Emergency Department, there is a dedicated private space for sexual assault evaluation and treatment. The Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault (SACASA) partners with TMC, deploying certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) that work with physicians to treat, document, and provide additional support and resources.
“For victims, this is the first step toward healing and justice,” said Stephanie Green, MSN, RN who administers the SACASA program. “There is a relief for victims knowing the pictures recorded by the colposcope will support prosecution – victims want as much evidence as possible to show this was wrong and not invited.”
The collaboration has been in operation for more than 10 years, and the initial equipment is reaching the end of its service life. “Every community deserves to have this service available to them,” said Donna Morton, the TMC Foundation director of annual giving. “We are fortunate to have the support of Mega Raffle donors who are extending better care to patients and assisting law enforcement.”
The new equipment means more than continuing care, but also enhancing care. “We began this program in 2005 and the updated instrumentation provides greater clarity and modern compatibility,” Ritchey said. “With this equipment we are able to continue providing the highest standard of care available for men, women and children who have experienced rape, abuse or assault.”