Open Access
Hershey, Sarah N
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sheridan Miyamoto, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lisa Ann Kitko, Honors Advisor
  • human trafficking
  • nursing
  • education
  • training
  • health care professionals
  • nurse
BACKGROUND: Human trafficking victims commonly interact with health care professionals during their time of trafficking, and most are not identified as a victim. These interactions with health care provide an optimal time for identification, but only if the health care professionals are educated on clinical indicators, treatment options, and post-trafficking referrals. Currently, evidence suggests that the majority of health care professionals have never received formal training on how to identify, treat or assist a human trafficking victim that would present to a health care facility. PURPOSE: The purpose of this systematized review is to understand the current educational and training programs on human trafficking that are available for health care professionals, and applicable to nursing. Additionally, this review will explore the effectiveness of these training and educational resources and offer recommendations specifically for the discipline of nursing. METHODS: A systematized review of the literature was conducted in September 2017 using the PubMed and CINAHL databases with the search terms “human trafficking” [MeSH] AND “education” OR “human trafficking” [MeSH] AND “training.” RESULTS: A wide variety of training modalities are available to health care professionals with similar themes of educational content. Training came in the form of online videos, voiceover presentations, online toolkits, education during departmental meetings, or presentations during Grand Rounds. Content of these programs most commonly included information on identification, clinical presentation, referral options, long-term consequences, and treatment. None of these programs were assessed for efficacy or validity, but some programs reported increases in self-rated knowledge and confidence. DISCUSSION: In recent years, there have been considerable improvements in the quality and number of educational/training programs on human trafficking available for health care professionals. The modalities of current programs are diverse and many do not have metrics or objective measurements to evaluate efficacy. Given the important role of the nurse in victim identification, continued improvements in these educational programs could have a meaningful impact on patient outcomes.