By Scott George
Expanding the role of SPs/GTAs/MUTAs to include Sexual Assault Response Training (SART)
A question often asked by SP and GTA/MUTA Program Coordinators is, “how do we keep our programs vibrant and provide SPs/GTAs/MUTAs with an expanding work load to retain them in our ranks?” The benefit of additional work is that our trainers and SPs remain motivated as they develop and improve skills. Few work opportunities lead to a turnover of these skilled workers which is expensive in terms of recruiting and training.
One particular venue presenting tremendous opportunity for growth in the application of SPs, GTAs and MUTAs is sexual assault response training (SART). This program provides training for health care responders, forensic evidence investigators and law enforcement officials in responding with compassion to the victims of assault crimes. These sexual assault responders will soon be found in nearly all of the communities represented by our ASPE membership worldwide.
As Member Liaison of the ASPE Board, I am initiating the development of a protocol using SPs/GTAs/MUTAs in training sexual assault responders. This protocol could also apply to the forensic nurse examiners as they train for their required certification. In this endeavor I hope to be guided by ASPE members with past, or present experience, and from personal involvement with the newly-initiated partnership in Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training and certification in Georgia. Strong interest has been shown by the International Association of Forensic Nurse Examiners in recommending the employment of SPs/GTAs/MUTAs for such purposes.
Additionally, I am conducting research into the possible benefits of providing SART for specialized medical residents, through an ASPE grant project that I am currently pursuing along with my colleague, Isle Polonko (UMDNJ).
As Member Liaison I intend to continue to expand on the wonderful work of my board predecessor, Liz Ohle. I plan to continue adding to the library of resources supporting GTA programs and expand upon those resources to support MUTA programs.
By the end of my board term I hope to have made an impact in providing our membership with opportunities and current resources for expanding and improving their own programs.