Massage therapists, other healthcare professionals must take human trafficking course by end of 2020

Healthcare professionals licensed by more than a dozen Boards must complete a one-hour continuing education course on human trafficking by January 1, 2021.

According to the Human Trafficking Bill, Chapter 2019-152, Laws of Florida, the requirement applies to any healthcare professional licensed by these Boards: Acupuncture, Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Chiropractic Medicine, Podiatric Medicine, Optometry, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nursing Home Administration, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics and Nutrition, Respiratory Care, Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy. 

Mailers have been sent out by the Division of Medical Quality Assurance to any current holder of a Florida Health license and contain information on where to find a course to take.

The legislation also required that “new Massage Establishments have a Designated Establishment Manager (or DEM) starting July 1, 2019 and that all Massage Establishments, regardless of the time the license was issued, have one no later than January 1, 2020 Chapter 2019-152, Laws of Florida, also amended the provisions governing when the Board shall take disciplinary action against a Massage Establishment’s license. Finally, Massage Establishments are required to implement a procedure for reporting suspected human trafficking by January 1, 2021 and have a sign outlining that procedure posted in their establishment.”

Information on rulemaking can be found in the Board of Massage Therapy Board’s meeting agendas published on the website at: https://floridasmassagetherapy.gov/meeting-information.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), there are an estimated 20.9 million victims of trafficking around the world. “Domestically, Florida continues to rank third in the nation in the number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” the ILO website reports.

Victims of human trafficking include children, women and men who are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor through force, fraud or coercion, according to the ILO website which also states that, “According to a study of U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force cases, 83 percent of sex trafficking victims identified in the United States were U.S. citizens. The average age that a trafficked victim is first used for commercial sex is 12-14.”

To find an appropriate course, please visit: https://courses.cebroker.com/search and select which Board you practice under.

The Florida Required Human Trafficking Training: Massage Therapist Edition costs $19 and it completed online.

The course overview states: “This course fulfills the Florida renewal requirement for Human Trafficking for Licensed Massage Therapists. Human trafficking survivors are forced to live with the physical and emotional scars resulting from the abuse that they experienced at the hands of their traffickers. This course is designed to provide Florida LMT’s with insight into the realities of human trafficking and the types of resources and interventions available to assist those caught up in a trafficking situation.”

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