How Nursing Professionals Can Identify Human Trafficking Victims

By NurseTogether.Com

As Nurses we come across ALL types of patients and situations, sadly Human Trafficking is real in the world and as long as we have the knowledge and proper care we can help stop and or prevent it from continuing. Every bit of help is needed to stop this horrible  mess towards women of all ages. So next time you are doing your assessment on your new patient please take the time to go over these SIGNS listed below. You could be ending a horrible nightmare for someone!

This article specifically focuses on the nurse’s role in identifying a victim of human trafficking. As a nurse providing direct bedside or emergency care to a patient, he/she is positioned strategically to recognize potential red flags indicating the victim is being trafficked. When victims of trafficking have serious health issues, traffickers will occasionally seek to obtain medical treatment for the victim. Some key indicators for a nurse to watch for would be:

  • Lack of health care (evidence of numerous untreated or prolonged/ongoing health issues or medical problems/injuries)
  • Bruising, (all in different stages noted by the appearance of different coloring, yellow, purple, blue), signs of physical/sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
  • Presence of a third party who will not leave the individual alone, perhaps posing as the victim’s “translator”
  • Multiple or frequent pregnancies
  • Multiple STD’s
  • Malnourishment
  • Pain/injury in lower back or back of head; important to note that sex industry victims are often beaten in areas where are not obviously visible that would damage their outward appearance.
  • Fear and depression
  • Exhibiting signs of being controlled Unable to move or leave their job by choice

Victim identification is the nurse’s first step in combating modern-day slavery. Whether it is a young child, a teen, a woman or a man; victims can be from any age group and may be either female or male. When it comes to rescue and restoration of victims, nurses are a vital link in that portion of the chain as well. However, before rescue and restoration can take place, a victim must first be identified.

United States Department of Health and Human Services Rescue and Restore Campaign materials from




EVERYTHING is about business now and LESS about the PATIENTS! Hospitals care so much about the paperwork and documents and NOT enough about taking care of the actual patient. Then they wonder why the patients keep having to come back! Documentation is VERY important because it helps us keep track of what’s going on with the patient and how to properly take care of the patient,  but now it’s to the point where they want us at the Nurse’s Station 24/7 just charting. How can we possibly chart HONESTLY if we are glued to the computer? It’s causing unnecessary issues that could have been prevented if the patient was checked on more often. Some Nurses will stay at the Nurses station all shift and just chart never really seeing what’s really going on with the patient! It’s just ridiculous, if you were a patient wouldn’t you want someone checking on you making sure you are getting the care you need to get discharged soon rather than ending up with something else you did not come to the hospital with. This needs to change before something happens do to having to chart more than giving PATIENT CARE!




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Bedside Report

Why “BEDSIDE REPORT” is so important?

There was a time when the new Nurse walked in about to introduce herself & the confused patient has got out the bed (Forgetting/not knowing he has a Foley catheter) with his Foley catheter still attached to the bed and pulled it out. Had bedside report been done his bed alarm would have been checked & reset so the staff members taking care of him would know that he is up again.

There was a time when the wrong IV bag was hanging, which the patient was allergic to. Had bedside report been done the patient IV bag would have been rechecked just to make sure it was running right and noticed that it was the WRONG fluids.

There was a time where the new Nurse walked in and found that her patient has pulled out her dialysis catheter after taking off her mitt restraints. Had bedside report been done, her mitt could have been putt back on and prevented her from even pulling on her dialysis catheter.

This is why bedside report is so very important because it can prevent more problems for the patient and less complications for the new Nurse. All three examples of non-bed side report could have been stopped or even prevented all the way just by going in & just briefly checking & going over the patient’s information!