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Impact of SAPACP: A nurse’s perspective


By Tracie Parr, RN, ENC(C), Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program

Sexual assault and partner abuse is an uncomfortable reality that brings feelings of shame, guilt, isolation and pain. Luckily, the Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program (SAPACP) is available when you need it most.

Six months ago, I joined the SAPACP team after working for 12 years in an emergency department. I found myself facing new challenges, learning and professional growth. I recall a week of sleepless nights, troubled about whether or not I would be able to cope with these personal tragedies on a daily basis. What I found has been more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

SAPACP is an entirely nurse-run clinic out of the Civic Campus Emergency Department. The clinic is staffed 24/7 by a diverse group of dedicated trauma nurses. The team is wonderful! Not only do we support our patients, but also each other through some rather horrific situations. Through communication, caring, a good sense of humour and, most importantly, debriefing, we learn, grow and believe that we can and do make a difference. The clinic environment is welcoming, safe, professional and confidential. SAPACP nurses see patients in acute situations and follow up with them through the outpatient clinic. We also collaborate with our community partners to develop comprehensive, patient-centred care plans.

As I work my way through each new day on my path to expertise, some nights still remain sleepless. But, I feel hopeful for each person who enters our program as they face their demons and begin the path to recovery. I feel empowered by the strength and courage I see in our patients for reaching out for help. I feel pleased about the positive feedback from our patients. And I’m thankful that this program exists, along with other various services and resources available in our community. I am empowered by my decision to make a change in my career path as part of the SACACP team, helping navigate patients through these very personal traumas.

To learn more about SAPACP, visit Sexual Assault Partner Abuse Care Program.


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