Without knowing it, healthcare providers often come into contact with human trafficking victims. In fact, according to research published in the Annals of Health Law, some estimates suggest that 87 percent of trafficking victims have had contact with a healthcare provider while being trafficked. In some cases, a nurse or doctor is the only person outside of the sex industry that comes into contact with a victim.
87 percent of trafficking victims have had contact with a healthcare provider while being trafficked.
This means that it is extremely important for healthcare providers to know how to spot red flags and warning signs, so they can act quickly if need be.
The Fraser Health Forensic Nurse Service has created a free online learning module for doctors, nurses, and others working in healthcare. It takes about an hour to complete. The 3 minute introduction video at the beginning isn’t the best quality, but don’t let that discourage you from going through the whole session. Here are some questions that are addressed:
- What are red flags that someone could be a victim?
- How does a victim interact with their trafficker?
- If someone shows up without medical insurance and no health card, what should you do?
- How do you build trust with a patient, even in a hectic environment?
It will give you several scenarios and you will be asked to spot warning signs on your own. You’ll also be given some sample questions that can use to screen patients.
If you do not work for a Health Authority within B.C., please access the online module by clicking below. While the course is geared toward healthcare professionals, the general public can also complete the module.
A more specialized course is available to Fraser Health staff and other B.C. health care providers here (requires login).
If you have a friend who works at a hospital or deals with patients, send this their way! It could save a life.
***Thanks Dana Martin for sending this module my way!