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photo Bevel Up: Drugs, Users & Outreach Nursing
By Nettie Wild

How can nurses deliver effective and compassionate healthcare to drug users? This taut, compelling documentary follows a team of “street nurses” as they reach out to prevent HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases by taking their services directly to the young people, sex workers, and homeless men and women living in the alleys, parks, shelters, and skid row hotels of the inner city.

Focusing on the principles of health promotion and harm reduction, the dedicated registered nurses of British Columbia’s groundbreaking Street Nurse Program provide health care to these profoundly underserved populations in traditional clinic settings or wherever their patients can be found.

Bevel Up is the core of an innovative training package that features the 45-minute documentary as well as a chaptered version divided into eight sections, with each chapter followed by commentary from the nurses, a nursing ethicist and a nursing practitioner. Additional teaching material includes 26 interviews with experts on topics related to drug use (mental health and drugs, pregnancy and drugs, native American issues, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, addiction, sex work, rural nursing, etc.) French subtitles are also available. A 100-page Teaching Guide augments the DVD with lesson plans, ideas for discussion, and additional resources. From the National Film Board of Canada.

Read the July 2009 article in the American Journal of Nursing featuring Bevel Up. Click here to download it as a PDF.

BEVEL UP Training Package includes:

45 Minute Video Documentary on DVD

Almost 4 hours of additional video teaching & discussion material

100-Page Teacher’s Guide in both English and French versions

45 minutes
© 2007
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-487
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-943-6
close captioned

The Street Nurse Program has been featured on the National Public Radio Program, Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

The University of Illinois College of Nursing recently hosted nurses from Vancouver's Centre for Disease Control's Street Nurse Program who showed the documentary Bevel Up: Drugs, Users and Outreach Nursing. In the documentary, Vancouver street nurses approached people in a friendly, nonjudgmental way. The 50 or so nurses who watched the film were impressed with the Vancouver program. "It makes sense to treat the whole person as they do," said Carolyn Smith, a nurse at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Chicago Tribune

“The Street Nurse Program symbolizes best nursing practices and an organizational commitment to patient care and harm reduction practices for some of British Columbia’s most marginalized individuals.” Provincial Health Officer's Award for Excellence

"An eye opening resource for community nurses. This has changed my entire perception of nursing and harm reduction! / An inspiration. Makes me remember why I wanted to go into nursing in the first place." Comments from Student Nurses and Social Workers

"As a recovered addict, I think it is so important that nursing and social work students see this film. So few people know the realities of homelessness and addictions. Well done!" from a Student Social Worker

"Should become a mandated tool for nursing students. The multitude of topics and ethical questions covered is outstanding / Identifies those qualities & skills that are often hard to define in our work / I would use this in policy workshops around harm reduction. A wonderful resource." Comments from Practicing Nurses & Nursing Educators

"The level of detail is key to the effectiveness of this package as an educational resource. ...valuable for all nursing programs at the college level and additionally for social work programs." Educational Media Reviews Online

Awards & Conference Screenings
Hot Docs International Film Festival,
2008 Official Selection
12th Annual PRISM Awards,
Original DVD
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
American Academy of Nursing

Related Films
Dealing with the Demon: Three-episode series that interweaves contemporary human stories with crucial scenes from the history of the drug trade, providing a provocative and timely commentary from which to view the ongoing debate.

Guinea Worm: The End Of The Road: Examines the nearly successful fight to eradicate a water borne parasite in Africa.

The Interventionists: A mental health nurse and a police officer ride the streets of the inner city in an unmarked police car, responding to 911 calls involving what are officially called "emotionally disturbed persons" (EDP).

The Gospel According to Mr. Allen: The staff of the Addicts Rehabilitation Center struggle to give addicts a sense of dignity and hope as they try to break the harsh grip of drugs.

Crystal Fear, Crystal Clear: Methamphetamine, or crystal meth, has become the drug of choice for teenagers in small towns across North America. Highly addictive, cheap, and easy to get, it can cause psychosis, permanent brain damage, and even death. This program documents a year in the lives of three families devastated by this powerful, seductive drug.

Not A Game: A stark, graphic warning about crystal meth aimed especially at pre-teens and younger children who might be influenced by older kids to "experiment." Classroom scenes show students practicing "refusal skills," and a plain-talking physician asks "What part of your brain would you like to do without?"

Nurses: The Web of Denial: Celebrates the strength and tenacity of nurses who are in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, while emphasizing the need for supports within the profession.

Bodies and Souls: Sister Manette, a nurse practitioner, and a white Catholic nun, runs the only health clinic in Jonestown, a largely African-American town in the heart of the Mississippi delta, where many people haven't seen a doctor more than once or twice in their lives.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website