New hospital rooms in Elizabethtown improve privacy and evidence - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New hospital rooms in Elizabethtown improve privacy and evidence collection for sexual assault victims

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- New hospital rooms at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown are providing specialized care for victims of sexual assault.

Susan Martinez is one of eight nurses at the hospital to complete 40 hours of specialized training to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.

“It’s pretty rare, actually, because we only have four programs in Kentucky,” Martinez said.

The rooms provide additional privacy with doors that are not see-through, along with an attached bathroom. The bed is placed in part of the room where it is hard to see from the door.

The nurses undergo extensive training on how to properly handle cases.

"We learn about the interviewing. We learn about forensic evidence collection. We learn about chain of custody. We learn about testifying in the court," Martinez said.   

The rooms are also equipped with special equipment used for examining and documenting evidence.

Martinez says many victims are afraid to come forward. The program at Hardin Memorial provides additional privacy to encourage victims to seek care.

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