Current Status
Not Enrolled
Get Started

Human Trafficking: How Health Care Professionals Can Make a Difference

Enrolled on:

CE1004 | Contact Hours: 2


The purpose of this course is to educate health care professionals in recognizing the signs of a human trafficking victim and the process for safely intervening in these circumstances. Upon completion of this course, the health care professional will be able to:

1. Understand the types and elements of human trafficking, typical settings in which human trafficking occurs, as well as risk factors for human trafficking.
2. Identify the signs of a human trafficking victim for both minors and adults, and their commonly treated health conditions within the health care setting.
3. Utilize evidence based screening tools to identify a human trafficking victim.
4. Describe the subsequent protocols to be implemented such as safety planning, patient resources and reporting methods.






Sara Hilgenberg, LPN


All learners must complete the entire activity and complete the evaluation to receive contact hours.


This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91).

In addition to states that accept American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) courses, CE Leaders is an approved provider by the Florida Board of Nursing, and a registered provider with the Arkansas State Board of Nursing, District of Columbia Board of Nursing, Georgia Board of Nursing, Kentucky Board of Nursing, New Mexico Board of Nursing, South Carolina Board of Nursing and West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (Provider # 50-33450).


No one with the ability to control content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship with an ineligible company.


According to the United States Department of Justice, human trafficking can be defined as a crime that involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labor or services, or to engage in commercial sex acts (1). It is not only a horrendous crime, but is abuse of fundamental human rights and a major public health problem. Based on research from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, human trafficking is listed as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today. Upwards of 199,000 individual human trafficking incidents occur in the United States annually, and in 2019 the US had 11,500 human trafficking cases reported (2). These numbers are only estimations as human trafficking is a crime that is exceptionally difficult to track due to its vastly secretive nature. Moreover, victims are very reluctant to try to come forward. It is estimated that over 80% of victims will seek medical attention during their first year of being trafficked, most often while maintaining captivity (2). Health care professionals are therefore in a vital position to be able to intervene. A health care professional can make a difference in the lives of trafficking victims at several points, from the initial encounter and identification to their rescue and restoration of health. Unfortunately research has shown that nurses typically fail to recognize the common signs and symptoms of trafficked victims because of lack of experience, knowledge, or having preexisting assumptions (3). The ability to intervene and stop further trafficking from occurring has now become a crucial task for the health care professional and will be further examined in this activity.


1. National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711) OR TEXT 233733

2. National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center:

3. State Agencies and Organizations That Combat Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation:

4. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

5. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255


1. Human Trafficking Defined. The United States Department of Justice. Website. Updated January 7, 2016. Accessed February 1, 2022.

2. Human Trafficking Statistics by State 2022. Website. Updated 2022. Accessed February 1, 2022.

3. Manjit Rani Sangha, DNP, MBA, RN. Lorri Birkholz, DNP, RN, NE-BC. Nurses’ Ability to Identify Human Trafficking Victims. file:///C:/Users/Ss/Downloads/Nurses__Ability_to_Identify_Human_Trafficking.99836.pdf. Published 2021. Accessed February 1, 2022.

4. Tammy J. Toney-Butler; Megan Ladd., et al. Human Trafficking. Updated July 27, 2021. Accessed February 4, 2022.

5. About Human Trafficking. Website. Accessed February 1, 2022.

6. Adult Human Trafficking Screening Tool and Guide. Website. Published 2018. Accessed February 4, 2022.

7. Human Trafficking - Nursing for Women’s Health. Volume 20, Issue 3, P324-326. Published June 1, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2022.

8. Resources: Common Health Issues Seen in Victims of Human Trafficking. Website. Accessed February 5, 2022.

9. Recognizing and Responding to Human Trafficking in a Healthcare Context. Website. Published October, 2012. Updated February, 2016. Accessed February 5, 2022.

10. The Joint Commission. Quick Safety 42: Identifying Human Trafficking Victims. Website. Published 2018. Accessed February 5, 2022.

11. Sheri-Ann O. Kaltiso MD,V. Jordan Greenbaum MD, et al. Evaluation of a Screening Tool for Child Sex Trafficking Among Patients With High-Risk Chief Complaints in a Pediatric Emergency Department. Published October 31, 2018. Accessed February 5, 2022.

12. Brown AC, Barron CE. Human trafficking. Pediatric Rev. 2018;39(2):102-103. Irene; Denise C. Abdoo, PhD, CPNP; et al. Confidential Screening for Sex Trafficking Among Minors in a Pediatric Emergency Department. March 1, 2021. Accessed February 5, 2022.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you consent to the use of cookies outlined in our Privacy Policy.

Special Offer

Thank you for your interest in our courses! Enter your email and we’ll send you a coupon for 20% off and for a FREE course!

*By entering your email, you agree to receive promotional messages from CE Leaders. You can unsubscribe any time.

Special Offer

Wait, don’t leave! Enter your email and we’ll send you a coupon for 20% off and for a FREE course!

*By entering your email, you agree to receive promotional messages from CE Leaders. You can unsubscribe any time.