Caring for people who are homeless: the work of a nurse to educate and train others
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Caring for people who are homeless: the work of a nurse to educate and train others

Janet Keauffling Specialist nurse for homeless and vulnerable adults, Abertawe Medical Partnership, Swansea, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To increase your awareness of the multiple health needs of people who experience homelessness

  • To enhance your understanding of the complex health and psychosocial issues linked with homelessness

  • To read about the experiences of a nurse in training others to care for people who are homeless

People who are homeless often have multiple physical and mental health conditions and alcohol and/or drug misuse issues in addition to past and present experiences of trauma, stigmatisation and exclusion. The intersecting health and psychosocial issues they are likely to experience and the complexity of their care needs negatively affect the dynamics of their engagement with health and social care professionals. To enhance their engagement with services, people who are homeless need to be offered psychologically informed care that promotes their trust and makes them feel safe. Health and social care professionals who work with homeless people need a solid understanding of this challenging area of patient care.

In this article, a specialist nurse for homeless and vulnerable adults reflects on her experience of educating and training others in caring for people who are homeless. Over a period of 15 years, the author has provided education and training to undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and medical students as well as to third-sector support staff. The article provides a practice-based account of how education and training can support professionals to understand and address the challenges faced by this vulnerable patient group.

Primary Health Care. 32, 3, 26-31. doi: 10.7748/phc.2022.e1752

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Keauffling J (2022) Caring for people who are homeless: the work of a nurse to educate and train others. Primary Health Care. doi: 10.7748/phc.2022.e1752

Published online: 05 January 2022

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