Collecting rape kits on the Sexual Assault Response Team is "mentally and physically an exhausting job" but for some members, it becomes a calling.
These nurses see patients on what could easily be the worst day of their lives.
The five-woman team of specially trained RNs collect what are commonly known as rape kits, which involve a highly invasive exam performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault. For them, collecting the kits is a full-time job.
They're forensic examiners with the Sexual Assault Response Team at Riverside County Regional Medical Center.
The team works out of a tiny exam room at the Moreno Valley hospital, providing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"Generally, it's a very, very hard field to recruit for because – think about it – who wants to see victims of sexual assault all the time?" said Gloria Davis, the nurse practitioner who manages the team. "It's mentally and physically an exhausting job."
Many nurses need to move on after two or three years, she said. But for others, it becomes a passion.
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