Human trafficking (HT), often referred to as “modern day slavery”, is a hidden problem affecting an estimated 20.9 million individuals worldwide. People are trafficked for the purposes of forced sexual exploitation and forced labor exploitation. Approximately 28-88% of HT victims in the United States report encountering a healthcare provider while in captivity, with over fifty percent of those encounters occurring in an emergency/urgent care setting. Therefore, emergency departments are in a unique position to identify and assist victims of HT. The purpose of this study was to investigate the baseline HT knowledge of new nurses in the Jefferson hospital system, and evaluate an educational training provided for a group of frontline healthcare staff at the Methodist emergency department. Pre- and post-training surveys were used to determine the effectiveness of the training in increasing participants’ knowledge of HT and confidence level in identifying potential victims. The baseline knowledge survey revealed a significant gap in knowledge among new nurses about the red flags used to identify HT victims in the emergency department. There was a significant increase in knowledge and confidence levels in the post-training survey, indicating that the training was successful and effectively equipped healthcare workers to address the problem of HT in the emergency department setting. Although the training was successful, a follow-up interview revealed that no additional victims of HT were identified in the Methodist emergency department 6 months following the session. However, the information about HT is now being integrated into many core curricula items for continuing medical education to spread awareness. Additional educational trainings are necessary to allow people to develop an increased level of comfort with the issue of HT.
Recommended CitationCosgrove, Charlotte, "Increasing Awareness about Human Trafficking: Education for Frontline Healthcare Providers" (2016). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 198.