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Bridging the Gap
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Providing 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. Street WorksIn 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 system.

Streetworks 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.

For more information contact Streetworks.

 
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