Human Trafficking Readiness for Clinicians: Content Validation of a Survivor Co-Led Education Program

Perry M. Gee, Holly A. Gibbs, Michael J. Sieczka, Herschel Knapp


Purpose. This project validates knowledge and confidence in nurses/clinicians who could encounter human trafficking (HT). Background. HT, a worldwide problem, is the exploitation of human beings. There are up to 40 million victims globally and 18,000-20,000 in the US. Many victims encounter healthcare professionals who often lack HT training. Methods. Clinicians/HT survivors led trainings at two Northern California hospitals. Ability to identify/treat HT patients was measured before and after training. Results. 254 professionals, (73.9% nurses) participated. Despite 66.1% indicating HT could affect their patients, most lacked HT identification/treatment training. At baseline, 26.3% of participants felt comfortable/very comfortable identifying and treating potential victims of human trafficking, compared to 93.2% (p < .001) and 90.4% (p < .001), respectively, at posttest. Implications. The training improved red-flag identification and documentation and expanded the trauma-informed care approach. Prioritizing departments likely to serve trafficked patients, this program was implemented across our three-state hospital system.

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