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P045: Human trafficking awareness, a learning module for improved recognition of victims in the emergency room

  • J. Deutscher (a1), S. Miazga (a1), H. Goez (a1), T. Hillier (a1) and H. Lai (a1)...

Abstract

Introduction/Innovation Concept: Estimates suggest that up to eighty-seven percent of human trafficking victims have come into contact with a healthcare provider during their exploitation and yet less than ten percent of emergency medicine (EM) physicians feel confident in identifying a victim. When provided with the relevant tools, medical personnel can aid in the recognition of victims and take the necessary steps in providing appropriate care when they present to the emergency department. Identifying this need for increased awareness in the urgent care setting, a module on human trafficking was implemented into the undergraduate medical education and departmental grand rounds. Methods: After identifying gaps in current medical education regarding screening for victims of human trafficking, a literature review was completed on the topic in medical education and utilized in constructing a list of objectives. These were then reviewed by community organizations that aid victims of trafficking and the Canadian Alliance of Medical Students Against Human Trafficking. Undergraduate medical students completed surveys prior to and following the learning module, in order to evaluate improvement in acquired knowledge. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: A one-hour lecture from ACT Alberta was given to undergraduate medical students as well as to residents and staff in departmental grand rounds. The session met the following objectives: defining human trafficking, recognition of victims, and identification of next steps in providing care. Additionally, an online module from Fraser Health was made available as an additional resource with case studies specific to emergency departments. The surveys consisted of 13 questions evaluating students’ knowledge on human trafficking and its prevalence in emergency medicine. The questions were a combination of a Likert scale, multiple choice, and short answer. There was a large amount of positive feedback from the students and comparison of the surveys showed that their knowledge in identifying victims had significantly improved. Conclusion: Medical students, residents, and staff may come into contact with victims of trafficking in the emergency department and yet less than three percent of emergency physicians have had training on how to recognize a victim. Implementing human trafficking awareness will impact EM medical education by providing victims a greater chance of being recognized and offered help when they present to the emergency room.

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