Adolescent sex trafficking screening tool in an emergency department
Betsy Elliott, DNP(c), RN-CNE, elliote@SCF.edu and Tracy Ison, DNP(c), RN, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sexual trafficking (ST) is prevalent in the United States and Alabama (Polaris, 2019). According to U.S. law, any person under the age of 18 who is induced to perform a commercial sex act is a victim of ST regardless of whether there is force, fraud, or coercion. Once free from trafficking, up to 88% of victims report that they had been in contact with a healthcare provider while being trafficked. Of those, few reported being questioned regarding their ensnarement by traffickers, and more than half were treated in emergency care settings (Polaris, 2019). Most victims report ST began between the ages of 15 and 17, with the grooming process beginning years earlier (Polaris, 2019). Because patients rarely self-identify as victims of sex trafficking, nurses in the emergency department need to be at the forefront of screening ST victims and reporting pediatric cases appropriately. Existing evidence suggests that to rescue victims of ST, healthcare providers must receive additional training, develop and implement an age-appropriate screening tool, and incorporate a protocol for the rescue of these patients. The planned project included providing ST education, preparing for the implementation of a validated six-question adolescent screening tool, and developing a protocol for the care of ST victims seen in the University of Alabama Health Care Gardendale Freestanding Emergency Department in Gardendale, Alabama.
|Type||DNP Capstone Project|
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
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