Friday Q&A with Valorie Prulhiere

Let me start out with a full disclosure: Val is one of my very closest friends, and there was a time when I saw her more than my husband. One of the smartest moves I made during my tenure of running the DOVE Program was hiring her as my right hand. A couple years in to our partnership, I turned operations over to her and she's been the coordinator ever since. DOVE is still my clinical home, and I get to spend time in the unit a couple days a month, so I'm able to witness first hand the grace and good humor with which she manages the ups and downs of a busy forensic practice. As with our previous Friday Q&A's, Val's conveys perfectly her personality and love for the work. Enjoy!

I've been a SANE since:

Hospital or community-based program? Both... The DOVE Program (Developing Options for Violent Emergencies) is a "hybrid" hospital based program. Although physically located within a large Level 1 trauma center/teaching hospital, victims can also access DOVE services directly from the community. Our program sees adolescents and adult victims of acute sexual assault, domestic violence and elder abuse.

I'm a SANE because: I became a SANE because I truly felt that God was hitting me over the head with a 2 by 4, after several victims of sexual assault came into my life in a very short span of time. I remain a SANE because, more than any other, this job enables me to practice nursing in a patient-focused autonomous manner.

The best advice someone ever gave me was: Life advice: Leave your little corner of the world a better place for you having been there. Work advice: You cannot do the best job for your patients if you do not take care of yourself.

A skill every SANE should have is: critical thinking and the flexibility to think outside the box while in the middle of challenging situations.

A skill every program coordinator should have is: Tough to just list one....
The ability to consistently make decisions based on 3 things: 1) sound clinical knowledge 2) what is good for patients 3) fiscal responsibility. This barometer will steer both your clinical practice and your program down the right path.

More money or more staff? At this point... staff. There is not enough money in the world to compensate for chronic sleep deprivation and clinician burnout.

I wish someone had told me when I was first starting out: to learn more about the business/financial aspects of running a program. SANE program management is much more than just being a good nurse.

My most indispensable resource is: the amazing people that I work in the trenches with every day (the DOVE team) and the network of colleagues across the country that are willing to share their knowledge and support.

My strong suit is: communication and relationship building

I would rather eat glass than: do anything number related. If I enjoyed that torture I would have majored in accounting.

I take care of myself by: I don't know that I do this very well. I'm trying to be stricter with myself about leaving the work to-do list at work. That being said, family comes first!

It will be time to do something else when: I stop enjoying the work.

In 10 years I would like to be: more in charge of my sleep schedule. That's only partially facetious. I look forward to focusing more time on the national level, influencing policy and the sustainability of forensic nursing programs. (All that while I'm traveling the world and writing a smutty romance novel)

Words of advice for a struggling SANE program coordinator? Be open to honestly evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your program. Ask others, outside your close circle for their feedback. We learn more from our failures than successes. Accept that change is stressful in the best of circumstances. Evolving a program takes time. Be realistic in setting expectations. And don't forget to find the humor in all of it.

[On another note, we will be in Seattle next week at SANE-SART: please come by the exhibit hall and say hello to us at the NSVRC table!]