2015 SAFEta Webinar Series: Human Trafficking: what every nurse should know
Health care provider misperceptions, competing priorities in the clinical setting, and a lack of training have all been identified as significant barriers to health care professionals’ ability to identify patients who are being trafficked. In the context of health care in North America, few organizations have formal screening practices, written policies or protocols for responding to the needs of trafficking victims. Lack of screening practices represent a critical short coming within the medical community especially considering we are referring to a population that does not typically self-identify as being victims or voluntarily disclose their victimization. For providers who have received training, the trainings are often provided by non-medical professionals and focus on awareness building or the general dynamics of the human trafficking phenomenon. Although these are important factors, providers also need guidance in medical screening, assessment, interventions and referrals. Today, we have an expert in the forensic medical evaluation of patients with histories of trafficking and exploitation who will expand on the dynamics of trafficking within the context of nursing practice.
Rachell Ekroos is a family nurse practitioner specializing in forensic nursing. She holds two national ANCC Board Certifications, one as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a second in Advanced Forensic Nursing. She has extensive advanced practice and interdisciplinary experience serving populations affected by violence. Her expertise related to violence across the lifespan includes sexual assault/abuse, intimate partner violence, interpersonal violence, and physical maltreatment. Additional areas of specialized expertise include human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and technology facilitated crimes against children. She has served as a clinical resource and investigative consultant to numerous organizations and governmental entities. Mrs. Ekroos is a published author and national speaker on various forensic nursing topics. Her teaching roles have included adjunct faculty, clinical faculty, preceptor faculty, and faculty for interdisciplinary forensic courses. Her research interests include clinical practice, ethical dimensions of forensic nursing practice, program development, and forensic medical photodocumentation. Mrs. Ekroos is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Association of Forensic Nurses, serves as a portfolio reviewer for the ANCC Advanced Forensic Nursing Board Certification program, and is Chair of the IAFN Scope and Standards of Forensic Nursing Practice task force.
The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this webinar are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.
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