Friday Q&A with Shalotta Sharp

This Friday's Q&A comes to us from Shalotta Sharp in Cuba, AL. I met Shalotta, as I meet so many people, through IAFN, in Salt Lake City. It's really one of the best reasons to get yourself to the Assembly, that whole networking thing. I'm so glad she agreed to be the focus of this week's Q&A, as I attempt to highlight practice from all over the country. Thanks, Shalotta!

I've been a SANE since: 2001

Hospital or community-based program? Rush Foundation Hospital, CARE Clinic @ Rush (clinic for chronically abused children in the Rush Health Systems)

I'm a SANE because: I was sent by my nurse manager and had no idea what the program was. I immediately saw the need for this in our facility but more importantly in our community. I have recruited other nurses in our facility to help with this vulnerable population in our community. I enjoy working with other entities to help with these victims.

The best advice someone ever gave me was
: Make your practice sustainable and have a business plan. Leaders want to help these victims but reality is that it must be financially sustainable

A skill every SANE should have is: Multi-tasking and working with all different entities. Keep your emotions in check while working with other entities.

A skill every program coordinator should have is
: Working with different personalities within the program at your facility and with others outside of your facility. Organize! Keep up with the current literature and educate the clinicians.

More money or more staff? More money will bring more staff. More staff can bring more money if other facilities don't have SANE coverage.

I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out: That hospital leaders DO care about this population, but the business of running a medical facility still has to take place. It must be sustainable and make money.

My most indispensable resource is: The pay source we have through our Attorney General Office. Most of our adult and adolescent patients have no medical coverage.

My strong suit is:
Working well with so many different entities and multiple counties. We have established a very mature practice and receive calls from other SANE's at our other two hospitals. This helps every SANE in our community stay on the same page so the community entities see the consistencies of our practice.

I would rather eat glass than: See our program fall through the cracks. I have worked very hard to get so many people on board and work together. Our clinic is in limbo now due to the end of the grant it was established by. I am working on several different angles to get it back on track. I saw the end coming and started working on new angles for this.

I take care of myself by: Exercising and venting with people who understand the stressors of this practice. (my husband) I also take time off at least once a month where I don't discuss any SANE issues. (maybe only a day or two, but SANE talk is off limits)

It will be time to do something else when: I finish my degree (I am currently upgrading and plan to pursue a family nurse practitioner degree) I hope to teach and work contractually in an ER setting or clinic setting.

In 10 years I would like to be: Teaching nursing school, teaching other SANE's, working part time in a clinic or ER

Words of advice for a struggling SANE program coordinator? Keep good records of your finances! Show the need for the program in your community and how the facility can benefit from the program. Example: A patient comes to your facility, she gets professional expert care. The hospital is reimbursed from the pay source. The patient refers the facility to other family members and peers since they (the patient) received such good care. The nurse (SANE) has more professional and detailed charting and works well with clinicians.