Jennifer Fox

Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Nash, Whitney

Committee Member

Hayden, Dedra

Author's Keywords

injection drug use; skin abscess; wounds; non-clinical staff; needle exchange


Background: Wounds resulting from injection drug use can increase morbidity and mortality in intravenous drug users (IVDU) (Kerr, et al., 2004; Phillips, et al., 2012; Pieper, 2019). Lack of access to healthcare contributes to self-treatment, worsening wounds, and severe co-morbidities (Robinowitz et al., 2014). Needle exchange programs (NEP) offer clean injecting equipment and infectious disease testing. NEP employees have close contact and high rapport with this population (Robinowitz et al., 2014). NEP can be utilized to assess skin for infection and high-risk injecting behaviors contributing to wound development. Early detection of wounds through assessment and prevention through cleaner injecting behaviors may lead to decreased wound occurrence (Phillips et al., 2012). Aims: Increase knowledge and self-efficacy of skin assessment, wound development and identification in non-clinical staff (NCS) who work closely with IVDU population. Increase utilization of the Bacterial Infections Risk Scale for Injectors (BIRSI-7) scale to detect high-risk, wound causing injection practices among IVDU. Methods: Voluntary convenience sample of NCS at a NEP were provided education pertaining to skin wound development and assessment. NCS implemented the BIRSI-7 scale to identify intravenous drug users at high-risk of wound development. Mean scores of pre/post survey knowledge and self-efficacy were measured and compared. Rates of use of the BIRSI-7 scale were also measured. Short-Term and Long-Term Goals: Increase knowledge and self-efficacy of NCS in wound identification and assessment and maximize use of BIRSI-7 scale among NCS. Results: NCS knowledge and self-efficacy were increased, the measures of self-efficacy was statistically significantly. BIRSI-7 application occurred approximately 50% of possible visits.

Included in

Nursing Commons