NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nurse Practitioner Pam Crues says she first went to work at Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, because she wanted to see where her tax dollars were going.

That was 2003.

Eighteen years later the first responder is still there -- as well as in multiple hospitals, clinics, and courtrooms all around Nashville.

"Taking care of victims are near and dear to my heart," Crues said. "You see people who've had such a difficult time, they've had this traumatic experience. And I want to do all I can to get them on the path to healing."

Crues says she loves the people she serves in the emergency room of the city's only public hospital, particularly victims of sexual assault.

"I personally have done probably 1000 sex assault exams," Crues added. "So I think victims feel really comfortable coming to us."

For almost thirteen years Crues has supervised the Sexual Assault Response Team or S.A.R.T. at multiple hospitals across Davidson County and the S.A.F.E. Clinic, Nashville's first and only stand-alone forensic rape exam clinic inside the Sexual Assault Center.

She and her team of seven nurse practitioners are always on call assessing victims' injuries, performing rape exams, prescribing medications, and even serving as expert witnesses in court.

"It's exciting to me when I get to testify in court for victims," said the wife and mother of two. "To see people come out on the other side, and then they themselves become advocates for sexual assault. It really is a calling. And it's very strange. I have a lot of friends who say 'How do you that job?'

I guess I say, 'How could I not do this job'."

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