Millions of men, women, and children are trafficked around the world every year, a number that continues to increase annually. Victims of human trafficking frequently interact with the healthcare system, yet often go unnoticed. Healthcare practitioners hold an important role in recognizing, caring for, and referring victims of trafficking. This study aimed to assess the baseline level of knowledge related to human trafficking amongst staff at a large university hospital.
A previously validated survey was distributed to all employees at Banner University Medical Center using an online module format. A gift card raffle was utilized as incentive to participate. The study was IRB approved.
There were a total of 2,042 survey responses. Respondents were stratified into groups based on role, specialty, and primary practice setting. A total of 81% have never received human trafficking training. Those who indicated prior training demonstrated a higher level of knowledge of human trafficking-related questions, and also felt more confident identifying and treating victims of trafficking. All groups of respondents indicated that the preferred method of additional training be pre-recorded online modules.
These results support the need for targeted training related to human trafficking. This will allow a thoughtful and targeted approach to education and resource sharing within and among hospital staff. Moreover, the results indicate that additional training allows staff to feel more equipped to identify and intervene when interacting with victims of human trafficking.