School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Cynthia Goodrich


Human Trafficking, Emergency Department, Mental Health, Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking




Human trafficking impacts sufferers on a global scale with serious and lifelong health issues associated with the illegal practice. Interventions for these victims’ extensive health issues must ignite healthcare staff education and expert clinical interventions. Due to these health problems, healthcare staff function on the front lines to identify and help trafficked persons. This study focused on the scope of trafficking and health staff awareness, identification strategies to help recognize trafficked persons, techniques for interviewing, best practice strategies for intervention and referral, and new coding guidelines. During the intervention, health staff received a human trafficking pre-education questionnaire, a research supported education training intervention, and a post-intervention questionnaire. Data on post-education intervention referrals was also completed to discern impact of education on trafficking recognition and resource support. Qualities examined for ease and efficacy included the education intervention strategy, utilization of resource support, reported issues with trafficking recognition, and increase or decrease of staff confidence within interactions. Questionnaire results demonstrated increases for questions one through four following the educational intervention. Post-intervention data showed some recognition of potential human trafficking persons particularly related to mental health. Project results were consistent with other research recommendations. Continued human trafficking encounters in health systems necessitates continued research into best education, interviewing, intervention, and post-care methods.

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