high-quality health care for Intravenous Drug Users (IDUs)
is challenging for many health care providers in both
hospital and community settings. The world of the hospital
is at the opposite end of the universe from the street.
In hospitals, the biggest challenge is a lack of knowledge
in dealing with substance use related health problems,
and stigmatizing attitudes. For street-involved individuals,
it is lack of knowledge of how to ‘work’ the hospital
recognizes how the culture of the street and culture
of the hospital can collide, and this project helps healthcare
providers in a hospital setting understand and assist
IDUs in receiving the care they need as well as understand
the viewpoints, needs and culture of IDUs. This unique
project was developed through the collaboration of Streetworks
and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta.
Streetworks staff has provided in-services to health
care workers, worked one on one with staff and have supported
clients throughout their hospital stay. Since the project
started, a link was also built with physicians and nurses
at the Royal Alexandra Emergency Department, Edmonton’s
hospital in the downtown core. Currently an emergency
room physician and nurse work part-time at Streetworks,
as well as the Royal Alexandra Hospital and through their
knowledge and skills are able to help build bridges between
the street and hospital culture. This work is part of
a long process and continued partnership.
more information contact Streetworks.