Sexual Assault

National STD Curriculum

An FHO reader asked if I had any recommendations for refresher training for members of her team who either hadn’t had education on STDs in quite some time or who didn’t feel had had sufficient training on STDs in their original SANE course. The concern was raised following a challenging cross-examination experience in which the testifying SANE was asked about whether some exam findings could be consistent with certain infections, particularly when those infections were not ruled out in the course of caring for the patient (as with many programs, this particular forensic nursing program does not test for STDs, but prophylaxes according to CDC guidelines). The nurse wasn’t certain she handled the cross as well as she could have, and in hindsight, wasn’t certain she was as prepared as she could have been.

I do, in fact, have a recommendation for comprehensive refresher training. It’s probably more than what people believe they necessarily need, but it will certainly provide clinicians with a solid knowledge base on STDs: the National STD Curriculum and its self-study modules. They can be completed at your own pace, for CMEs/CEUs, have been recently updated, and are free. I’ve done several since the hours are good for my NP recertification, too, and one of the things I think they are particularly useful for is the issue mentioned above–the differential diagnosis. Answering the critical question, what else could it be? So if you’re not confident in how you would answer that question on the stand, it might be worth spending some time with these modules. Help make your practice that much more defensible.


Our first offering in the FHO store, Injury Following Consensual Sex is now available. If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, you can find it here