Human Trafficking Education for Texas Healthcare Professionals

Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry and occurs in all parts of the world. It is believed that at the latest count, over 20 million people, from all walks of life, have been victims of human trafficking. From child sex trafficking to forced labor (farmworkers, domestic servants, and construction workers), these victims have been denied their freedom, their livelihood (earned wages), and are often subjected to inhumane living conditions and unsafe working environments.

The purpose of this educational offering is to familiarize the healthcare professional with the issues of human trafficking, including recognition of potential victims, identification of support services available for victims of human trafficking, and acknowledgment of the legal obligations of healthcare providers when caring for potential victims of human trafficking.

This course meets the Texas Board of Nursing requirements for continuing education on the subject of human trafficking and is approved by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in accordance with House Bill 2059 (2019).

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Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Identify four potential risk factors for a victim of human trafficking.
  2. Recommend social/legal services available to victims of human trafficking.
  3. Discuss the various types of human trafficking.
  4. Verbalize healthcare related guidelines for reporting suspected human trafficking.
  5. State one examples of human trafficking hotline numbers and websites for referral services.
  6. Discuss the principles of trauma-informed care.


Chapter 1: Overview of Human Trafficking

  • Global Statistics and Barriers to Accurate Data
  • Definitions of Human Trafficking 
  • Differentiating Human Trafficking and Consensual Commercial Sex
  • Human Trafficking and Smuggling: What is the Difference?
  • Fraud, Force and Coercion
  • Where Healthcare Providers Could Encounter Victims
  • Risk Factors to Human Trafficking
  • Vulnerabilities to Human Trafficking
  • Stages of Grooming for Sexual Exploitation
  • Male Survivors of Trafficking
  • Trafficker Profiles and Recruitment Techniques
  • Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000

Chapter 2: Health Impacts of Human Trafficking

  • Acute and Chronic Health Issues Commonly Seen with Trafficking
  • Reproductive and Sexual Health Concerns of Human Trafficking Survivors
  • Mental Health Impacts of Trafficking
  • Trauma Bonds in Human Trafficking
  • Human Trafficking Impact on Quality of Life, Autonomy, and Independence

Chapter 3: Identification, Assessment, Response

  • Identifying Victims of Human Trafficking
  • Potential Indicators of Trafficking
  • Challenges to Victim Identification and Response
  • Possible Implications of Law Enforcement Involvement
  • Patient Centered Care: Assessment, Intervention, Response
  • Healthcare Provider and Patient Safety Actions to Consider
  • Strategies for Private Conversations
  • Facility/Organizational Protocols
  • Survivor-Centered Care, Referrals and Community Partners
  • Mandated Reporter Obligations
  • Mandatory Reporting and Permissions
  • Medical Documentation
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Examples of Communication Techniques
  • Samples of Appropriate Language To Assist In Identification
  • Human Trafficking and HIPAA 
  • Facility Task Force and Staff Education

Chapter 4: Community Resources and Services Available

  • Healthcare Provider Role and Response
  • Service Provider Resources
  • Texas Resources
  • Texas Health and Human Services
  • National Resources
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • National Human Trafficking Hotline
  • Polaris Project
  • Legal Services
  • American Bar Association Task Force on Human Trafficking

Chapter 5: References

Price: $20.00

Contact Hours: 2

Course Author

Maureen Sullivan-Tevault

Maureen graduated nursing school in 1981 and has spent her years in the Emergency and Trauma field, including nursing positions as the Emergency Department Manager, Director of Staff Education, Trauma Coordinator, Cardiology Nurse Navigator, and Stroke Program Manager.

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