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Sexual Assault Simulation for Healthcare Providers

Basic Course:

The SASH course is an interdisciplinary educational course for nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and any other licensed healthcare professional who cares for victims of sexual assault.


The course focuses on all aspects of healthcare delivery including: medical management, psychological management, and forensic evidence collection. 


SASH is a four-hour course that utilizes various learning techniques including: didactics, hands-on skill stations covering the components of the state’s forensic evidence collection kit, a simulation experience with a standardized actor focusing on non-evidence collection aspects of care and a debriefing session of the simulation experience. 


How it is implemented:

This course is prepared for each individual healthcare setting and works with staff to ensure that local healthcare policies and practices are implemented so that victims within specific healthcare settings are getting the latest evidence-based information that they need.


Advanced Course (Train the Trainer):

This course instructs healthcare providers on how to teach the SASH course to be used at the local healthcare facility. This train-the-trainer course prepares healthcare professionals, who have a background in sexual assault and forensics, with the tools and skills necessary to teach others. This course includes didactics, hands-on learning and how to successfully run a debriefing course.




Evidence of effectiveness:

  • Increase in participant's knowledge in caring for victims of sexual assault

  • Increase confidence in participant inability to deliver care for victims of sexual assault

  • Improve patient outcomes with prophylactic medication administration

  • Improve knowledge and identification of human trafficking victims in healthcare setting

MAGNET Contribution


The SASH course is also known for its contribution to Magnet designation at  Brigham and Women's Hospital. Data on patient outcomes was collected for measurements and outcomes on the SASH course and was part of the MAGNET application for the Brigham and Women's Hospital establishing effectiveness for:


Criteria: SE4EO

Nurses participate in professional development activities designed to improve their knowledge, skills, and/or practice in the workplace.  Professional development activities are designed to improve the professional practice of nursing or patient outcomes, or both. May include intra- professional activities. 


Publications of SASH

Scannell, M., & Conso, J. (2020). Using sexual assault training to improve human trafficking education. The Peer-Reviewed Journal of Clinical Excellence, 50(5), 15-17.


Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (2019). Nurse-Led Course Improves Care of Sexual Assault Victims. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from


Scannell, M., MacDonald, A. E., Berger, A., & Boyer, N. (2018). The priority of administering HIV postexposure prophylaxis in cases of sexual assault in an emergency department. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 44(2), 117-122.


Brigham Bulletin. (2016). Nurse-Led STRATUS Course Improves Care for Sexual Assault Victims.


Scannell, M., Lewis-O’Connor, A., & Barash, A. (2015). Sexual assault simulation course for healthcare providers: enhancing sexual assault education using simulation. Journal of forensic nursing, 11(4), 188-197.


Scannell, M. (2014). Scheduling strategy using Poisson probability to ensure 24/7 scheduling coverage for emergency nurses caring for patients that have been sexually assaulted. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 59(5), 550-551.



2015 Journal of Forensic Nursing Education Article of the Year

Scannell, M., Lewis-O'Connor, A., & Barash, A. (2015). Sexual assault simulation course for healthcare providers: Enhancing sexual assault education using simulation. Journal of Forensic Nursing, 11(4), 190-199.

Prices range with consideration to the number of faculty needed, equipment and supplies, contact the BNI at for more information.

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