Emergency Department

At Cayuga Medical Center, we know that one of the most important community services we deliver is expert, compassionate care for people who are experiencing medical emergencies. We provide the only 24-hour emergency care in Tompkins County and we see more than 30,000 patients a year in our Emergency Department.

With generous support from the community, Cayuga Medical Center completed a state-of-the-art critical-care facility in 2006, which effectively tripled the space of our Emergency Department. We now have twenty emergency patient rooms in which to handle our increasing volume. Special-use spaces for trauma and decontamination, psychiatric evaluation and care, and treatment of sexual assault victims also enhance our abilities to meet the needs of the patients and families we serve.

Our experienced staff of board-certified physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners take care of adult and pediatric emergency patients. We work closely with local ambulance crews to ensure the finest pre-hospital care possible. And working collaboratively with the Tompkins County Office of Emergency Response, we play a key role in our community’s emergency medical preparedness and response to bioterrorism and homeland security issues.

When you come through our Emergency Department doors, you are at the center.

SANE program for sexual assault victims

Victims of sexual assault and abuse have many faces. They are college students, girls, boys, teens, women, men, and the elderly. They are targets of sexual assault regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race, and income level. They suffer assault and abuse on dates, on the streets, at work, and in their homes. More often than not, they are assaulted by someone they know and trust.

People can have many feelings after sexual assault, sexual abuse, or rape. They feel confused, scared, angry, helpless, sad, and ashamed. Each person is different and responds individually to her or his experience. The impact of sexual assault and abuse can include sleep disturbances and difficulty concentrating, and can disrupt relationships at school, work, and in the family. Some victims suffer mental health problems, abuse drugs and alcohol, and experience sexual dysfunction as a result. The SANE program can help you cope with whatever you are feeling.

What is the SANE Program?

The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program employs a team approach to assist survivors of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and rape with medical, emotional, and legal needs. With the survivor’s consent, a team of nurses, sexual assault counselors/advocates, doctors, and law enforcement work together to support the survivor.

Through the SANE Program, youth and adult survivors of rape, sexual assault or abuse can be examined by specially trained nurses in the Cayuga Medical Center Emergency Department. Nurse examiners provide skilled, sensitive medical care and the timely collections of forensic evidence. If the survivor chooses, law enforcement agencies can use this evidence in the arrest and prosecution of the offender. Care can best be provided as soon as possible after an assault. However, it is never too late to seek care and support after a sexual assault.

Medical Care and Emotional Support

Survivors can expect prompt treatment from SANE nurses and the immediate and continued support of experienced counselors-advocates from the Advocacy Center. Family and friends can also receive support and assistance through the program.

All procedures are explained in detail. Treatment to prevent sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception are available. Survivors are treated with dignity and given choices about their treatment, all in the hope of beginning the healing process.

Legal Issues

Participation in all services of the SANE Program is voluntary. It is not mandatory to make a report to law enforcement unless a weapon was involved. In some cases of sexual abuse of children or teens, child protective services and law enforcement must be called.

If a survivor is unsure about whether or not to press charges, evidence collected by a SANE nurse can be held for up to 30 days at the hospital while the survivor makes his or her decision.

SANE is a collaborative project of Cayuga Medical Center and the Advocacy Center.

To find out more about the services of the SANE Program, call the Advocacy Center’s 24-hour hot line at (607) 277-5000 or call our Emergency Department at (607) 274-4411.

Anyone who comes for a SANE exam will be treated regardless of ability to pay. There are no fees for the services of the Advocacy Center.

More Information

For more information on the national SANE program, click here.

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