Enhancing access to health care for marginalized groups through a study of relationships between street nurses and the people they serve

In previous research, people experiencing marginalization such as those living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, illicit drug use and homelessness have reported very negative experiences with the health care system. These experiences can result in delays seeking treatment and greater future costs to the health care system. At the same time, these groups have reported positive experiences with street nurses (registered nurses who work on the street). Bernadette Pauly is assessing the nature and quality of health care relationships between street nurses and their clients, and how health and social policies and organizational structures affect these relationships. Increasing understanding of these relationships, along with factors in the environment where street nurses provide care, could ultimately reveal ways to improve health care delivery for marginalized groups and, ultimately, their health.