A $2,500 gift from the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary is being used by nurses specially trained to conduct forensic examinations following a sexual assault.
The Auxiliary’s gift was used to purchase a digital camera that nurses use in the hospital emergency departments to take photographs and video images of injuries a person sustained during an alleged sexual assault.
Devin Trinkley, RN, FNE-A/P, coordinator of the Shore Health System Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFE) program, says, “We can review the digital images as we take them to be sure we have high quality photos or videos. Images taken with the digital cameras can also be downloaded to a computer and the photos can be printed so that they can be retained as evidence by law enforcement officials.”
The Canon EOS Rebel digital camera has a macro lens for close up shots and the ability to magnify images taken during a physical examination. “We can zoom in to within an inch of the victim’s body and enlarge the image to see new injuries and healing scars,” Trinkley says.
Shore Health System has six SAFE nurses are on call 24 hours a day, every day. Since 2005 the number of sexual assault cases handled by the nurses in the hospital emergency departments at Dorchester General Hospital and The Memorial Hospital at Easton has tripled.
“The need for these services grows every year,” Trinkley says. “We are grateful to the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary for helping us get equipment that makes it easier for us to care for patients while also assisting law enforcement and other social service agencies who investigate sexual assault cases across the Mid-Shore region.”