Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners at Womack Army Medical Center conducted their annual two-day training, May 14-15.

Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiners at Womack Army Medical Center conducted their annual two-day training, May 14-15.

About 15 Womack staff, including 12 nurses gathered together in the WAMC Emergency Department to refresh their skill set and enhance their ability to take care of WAMC patients.

The team that takes charge of this event makes sure that the WAMC nurse examiners are equipped to handle patients with care, compassion, and discretion.

During this training, nurses take advantage of the various locations throughout the hospital and on post to partake in classroom learning, and hands-on learning in photography, injury identification, and video.

This year, cross-training between WAMC and 18th Airborne Corps Staff Judge Advocate junior attorneys was added to the training schedule. Nurses are able to qualify as experts, be cross-examined, swear in and speak to a judge.

“It is a jam-packed training and our nurses do a great job,” said Kelly Taylor, WAMC SAMFE program manager. “It’s important to go over renewed instruction not only for the education piece but for sharing best practices.”

Our nurses are on different shifts and in various clinics, so this builds camaraderie, confidence and reinforces what they are seeing and doing,” she said.

The robust program links with on-post assets and off-post assets, such as the Fayetteville Police Department and Criminal Investigation Command. Through these agencies, nurses are able to familiarize themselves with joint jurisdictional cases, how to properly document, and investigation protocol.

Fayetteville PD shared all of the DNA that WAMC yielded over the last year and how many hits may be linked to cases the National DNA Database system.

Other sessions included how to speak during forensic testimony and providing meaningful statements with no bias.

WAMC has sustained a unique live training option for physical examinations for the past seven years. Janie Diaz, a standardized patient, accepted the chance to provide her expertise to help train WAMC nurse examiners during speculum exams.

“This means that I am helping the medical community,” said Diaz. “It is really valuable to help WAMC nurse examiners experience a live patient. I feel I contribute a lot because I am totally different from the model that they have to work with. I give verbal feedback on how the patient feels, encourage them to be supportive. My overall experience has been very positive.”

Robust care is provided here at Womack. After being examined at WAMC, extensive follow-up care is conducted 48 hours, six weeks, 12 weeks, and six months after a patient’s initial visit.

High expectations and high standards keep the WAMC forensic medical program running smoothly.