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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing


Introduction: The emergency department (ED) has a unique opportunity in identifying victims of human trafficking (HT). HT victims often have limited access to healthcare, and the ED may be their only source to obtain healthcare. Healthcare providers rarely receive formal education on identifying, screening, or caring for HT victims.
Method: A literature review was conducted using South Dakota State University’s Hilton M. Briggs library as well as the University of South Dakota’s Wegner Health Sciences Library. The databases accessed in this search included CINAHL, EBSCOhost, and PubMed.
Gaps: There is inconclusive evidence on how to effectively identify and manage HT victims in healthcare. There are no validated screening tools for HT in the ED for adults. Few studies focus on the impact of how a HT protocol affects the ED healthcare providers’ knowledge and comfort in caring for HT victims
Recommendations: Findings from 25 articles within this review of literature support continued scholarship and training on HT for healthcare providers. EDs should consider implementing screening protocols for HT victims and have policies in place to ensure safety for HT victims.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Human trafficking victims -- Identification.
Human trafficking victims -- Medical care.
Emergency medical services.
Medical personnel.
Medical personnel -- Training.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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