SAFE-T Center Opens Simulation Lab

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Visitors to the Penn State College of Nursing on Tuesday, July 25, experimented with virtual reality and got a glimpse into the work of forensic nurses when the Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Forensic Examination and Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center celebrated the opening of its forensic simulation lab.

Supported by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime, the SAFE-T Center is a new project spearheaded by the College of Nursing to enhance statewide access to high-quality forensic care for sexual assault victims. Tuesday’s event featured technology-rich interactive displays that showcased the center’s innovative approaches to telehealth technology.

“The lab is an integral piece of the SAFE-T Center, which aims to create sustainable solutions for forensic sexual assault care in underserved areas,” said Sheridan Miyamoto, assistant professor of nursing and principal investigator on the project.

The center’s telemedicine network enables forensic nurses to remotely connect in real time to experienced sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs), who provide mentoring and support during sexual assault exams. Monthly peer reviews facilitate discussion, reinforce evidence-based practice, and allow nurses to share strategies for working in an emotionally difficult field.