Healthcare for the Homeless at Nurse-Managed Clinic

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Healthcare for the Homeless at Nurse-Managed Clinic

UCLA School of Nursing Clinic at the Los Angeles Skid Row Union Rescue Mission

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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The UCLA School of Nursing Health Clinic at the Union Rescue Mission recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. The health clinic, which is the one of the largest nurse-managed clinics in the country, provides care to the indigent and homeless in Los Angeles’ Skid Row area.

Some of that population has acute healthcare needs because problems aren’t addressed until the need is urgent. “When you don't know where you will get your next meal or where will you sleep each night, it’s hard to think about taking care of your health,” says Courtney H. Lyder, dean of the UCLA School of Nursing.

Full Range of Care
The clinic staff addresses both acute and chronic illnesses and last year saw over 3,700 homeless patients in a total of 10,876 patient visits. The small staff of nurse practitioners and one physician is supplemented by medical and nursing students, the first time many of those students have worked with very poor patients.

The clinic is open five days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Patients are seen by appointment or as walk-ins and receive diagnostic services, case management, medications and health education. The clinic is the only shelter-based clinic in the city that provides care for women and children. Thanks to a recent grant from the Ahmanson Foundation, after-hours pediatric care is also available for children who become acutely ill at night.

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