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Free Virtual Practicum Developed in Partnership with AFN

Are you looking for quality online training to enhance your skills in caring for sexual assault patients? As a trainer, do you need realistic simulations that teach the nuances of caring for patients from different populations? The Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Exam (SAMFE) Virtual Practicum has you covered; the Virtual Practicum teaches health care providers each step of a person-centered sexual assault medical forensic examination. Nurses can earn up to 19.5 hours of continuing education for completing course material.

The training is a program of End Violence Against Women International, funded by the US Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. AFN is a partner on the project, with multiple AFN members appearing in the Virtual Practicum, leading patient simulations, exploring complex topics in the field today, and offering practical tips to improve patient care.

Training takes place in a virtual facility, with interactive lessons taught by leading experts in different rooms.

In Room A, the cornerstone of the program, nurse Karen Carroll conducts a head-to-toe medical forensic examination including the patient’s medical history. Hands-on exercises give students practice collecting evidence and documenting findings. A second simulation in Room A involves a drug/alcohol facilitated sexual assault, and the learner conducts the full exam. This scenario, referred to as the “Mary Lange case,” weaves through the rest of the training.

Room B presents five additional patient simulations that teach skills to care for patients from different populations, including transgender patients, elders, adolescents, cisgender males, and incarcerated patients. Each simulation guides learners through a medical history taking and gives insight into how to address the patient’s specific concerns and circumstances. For instance, the simulation with Jordan, a trans man, reviews types of gender-affirming treatments, terminology, and how to address sensitive topics in a way that builds trust.

In the forensic lab, forensic scientists conduct a step-by-step DNA analysis of evidence collected during the exam. A scientist then shows how DNA profiles are compared against others stored in CODIS, the FBI’s national DNA database. This experience is comparable to a live tour of a crime laboratory.

The Courtroom Area is one of the most popular sections of the Virtual Practicum—it familiarizes health care providers with the legal system and testifying as an expert witness. In the Pre-Trial room, an experienced prosecutor teaches the ins and outs of preparing for court. He gives professionals advice on responding to subpoenas, interacting with prosecutors and defense attorneys, and presenting their own credentials on the stand.

In the Courtroom, learners watch a nurse provide expert testimony at trial, including direct examination, cross-examination, redirect, and recross examination.

The Conference Room shows a multidisciplinary Sexual Assault Response Team conducting an after-action review of the Mary Lange case, discussing the critical role each team member plays in achieving a successful outcome. 

The Virtual Practicum is a valuable learning tool for medical providers and multidisciplinary professionals. AFN members and colleagues can download the SAMFE Virtual Practicum for free and improve their practice today.

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