The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters to the Editor: Nurses should be trained to do rape exams

Sexual Assault Nurses-Shortage

Bonnie Price, director of the forensic nursing program at the Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital, with an evidence kit in the examination room at the hospital in Richmond, Va. A nationwide shortage of sexual assault nurse examiners means that rape victims are often forced to drive from hospital to hospital to find someone trained to examine them. file/Steve Helber/AP

The Feb. 20 Post and Courier article on the national shortage of forensic nurses to do rape exams causing rapes not to be prosecuted was appalling. It noted that “certified” forensic nurses were scarce as hens’ teeth, with only 150 among Virginia’s 94,000 nurses.

As a general rule, licensing and certifying limits the number of people who can practice a particular profession. Is that why there’s a shortage? Has anyone asked nurses why they don’t also seek certification in this much-needed specialty?

In most other situations, when you need people for a job, and there is nobody to do it, you train someone to do it. Granted, I come from prehistoric times when on-the-job training was common.

Nurses are already trained in nursing, and already subject to onerous licensing, certification and malpractice insurance. Why not train them to do rape exams, if hospitals actually want somebody to do these jobs?

When CT scanners became available, you didn’t have to hire someone who already knew how to do these scans because they didn’t exist. Radiologic technicians already trained to do ordinary X-rays were just trained to do CT scans.

I think we’ve become “functionally fixated” on having already-trained people available whom you can hire from a job service. And if nobody shows up, well, we’re just out of options.

We’re not out of options. Train some nurses to do rape exams. Have a dozen of them in every hospital and emergency room.


Stonewood Drive


Perfect choice?

Look no further. The search is over. Judging from his unique qualifications, Elliott Summey is the obvious choice for Gov. Henry McMaster to appoint to his executive staff to monitor extreme weather and sea level measurements in South Carolina.


Bishop Gadsden Way


Joe Cunningham

I was just about to write a nice check to Rep. Joe Cunningham’s campaign when all of a sudden he morphs into a Republican.

First, he rails against unions, you know the groups of American workers who gave us things like the 40-hour work week, sick leave, minimum wage and child labor laws.

Then he reiterates his support of the state’s woefully misnamed right to work law.

Finally, he joins the Republican campaign to call social democracy “socialism.”

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I hope Cunningham is bright enough to realize that we already live in a social democracy. It’s a capitalist system that supports social justice.

Our federal government already provides things like Social Security, Medicare, military defense, food and drug regulation and inspections.

Our local and state governments provide roads, schools, police and fire protection. This is a social democracy where a competitive economy provides taxes that are used for the public good (at least in theory).

Many countries do this better than the United States, but with the right leadership, we can have similar success.

Instead, Cunningham picked up the Republican mantle of mislabeling the expansion of the system we already live by calling it “socialism.”

Why? Obviously he is trying to pander to President Donald Trump’s political base.

Well, I have a news flash for him. Trump’s base didn’t support him in the past and they aren’t going to support him now.

Democrats, independents and Dwight Eisenhower-style Republicans elected him before and will reelect him if he doesn’t abandon them.

In addition, Cunningham would get to keep the moral high ground and retain his integrity. Not a bad deal and as a bonus, he would be able to look in the mirror without wincing.


Little Oak Island

Folly Beach


Despite a possible coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused stock markets to stumble, our president is optimistic and promises that the vice president will take good care of us.

At the same time, he is trying to divert billions of dollars from the Pentagon to build a promised wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.

He seems to have forgotten his second promise because he is diverting funds from the Pentagon. Those funds are necessary for maintaining our military supremacy.

It would be understandable if diverted funds were being used to develop a coronavirus vaccine and make it available as soon as possible, just in case.

It looks like our president is more interested in maintaining a strong economy and ensuring his reelection than the health of our country.

Are we ready?

Just check the availability of masks and hand sanitizers at pharmacies in Charleston. Their supplies are depleted and they don’t know when they will be replenished


Saturday Road

Mount Pleasant

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