“These victims of trafficking have limited access to healthcare and often may only have a single encounter with healthcare professionals. Unfortunately, many healthcare workers have limited awareness of human trafficking and the characteristics of those it victimizes. Limited availability of emergency department-specific screening tools and limited legislated reporting requirements, together with the barriers to patients disclosing their involvement in trafficking, make it difficult to identify these patients and provide the proper care and advocacy. Emergency nurses have a unique opportunity to recognize and intervene on behalf of victims of human trafficking. In fact, nurses may often be the only trusted individuals who can connect with trafficking victims, a hard-to-reach population at risk for injuries similar to those found with victims of domestic violence and rape.” – Excerpt from “Human Trafficking Patient Awareness in the Emergency Setting,” February 2015.
See the full position statement above.