TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Port Hardy Hospital is now able to offer more services to victims of sexual assault and/or relationship violence.

Forensic Nurse Examiners in Port Hardy offer specialized support after sexual assault or relationship violence

Hospital staff who are part of the FNE program are nurses first and foremost.

Port Hardy Hospital is now able to offer Forensic Nurse Examiners (FNE) with specialized training to provide extra support and compassionate care for victims of sexual assault or relationship violence.

“Sexual assault can cause trauma and long-lasting emotional distress and it’s important to make sure supports are in place to help people affected and so they know they are not alone,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

The FNE program launched in Port Hardy in December, 2016. Since then, six nurses at Port Hardy Hospital have completed additional training that allows them to provide medical care and collect forensic evidence from patients aged 13 and over within seven days of experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence.

Dix stated that, “By adding more trained examiners the Forensic Nurse Examiner program will help those in the North Island who have suffered abuse get the proper care and understanding from a health professional that is trained for these situations.”

“We want people in the North Island to know that support is available for anyone who may experience this kind of trauma,” says Aimee Falkenberg, who coordinates the Forensic Nurse Examiner program for Island Health in the Central and North Island region.

Hospital staff who are part of the FNE program are nurses first and foremost, committed to providing compassionate medical care and support to people coping with trauma.

Additional training allows them to collect forensic evidence that can either be shared immediately with the RCMP or stored for up to one year.

Decisions about collecting evidence and reporting an incident to police are entirely up to the patient.

FNEs are there to explain care options and support their patients, says Falkenberg. “We listen to their needs – it’s non-judgemental.”

The FNE program at Port Hardy Hospital is modelled after those run at other small rural hospitals on Vancouver Island. If a Forensic Nurse Examiner is not working when a person arrives at the Emergency Department, one will be called in. If an FNE is not immediately available the Emergency Department staff will provide the appropriate medical care and arrange for the patient to return.

FNE’s can provide specialized support to patients 13 and over, of any gender, within seven days of experiencing a sexual assault or relationship violence. They also work with health, social and legal services to make sure survivors are supported beyond the examination room.

Anyone who has experienced a sexual assault or intentional violence can access care at their nearest Emergency Department. Additional support is also available through the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888. Information about the Forensic Nursing program is also available at www.viha.ca

Just Posted

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

North Island Rising: Can the future of the North Island be managed?

Can growth be managed and if so, is now the time to start figuring things out?

Less than a month to go until the Mount Waddington Fall Fair!

The committee is hoping for a record number of exhibits this year

Port McNeill CCCU presents cheque to Port McNeill Hospital Society executive

The cheque was from the June 21 fundraiser BBQ that Ward and her Grandmother Lou organized together

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

Most Read