School hosts opioid conference for students, nurse anesthetists

The University of Minnesota School of Nursing hosted a statewide conference for nurse anesthetists and students to address the opioid epidemic. The conference, on June 9, featured experts on topics including new evidence-based practice, non-opioid alternatives during surgery and prevention of substance use disorder among nurse anesthetists.

The school was awarded federal funding to provide the training, which allowed participants to attend at no cost. “When the School of Nursing was given the opportunity to provide opioid education, it was important to us to include not only students but practicing nurse anesthetists throughout the state as well,” said Christine Mueller, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN, associate dean for academic programs. “They are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, especially in rural areas. Education and prevention are crucial to ending the devastating impact of opioid abuse.”

Currently, nearly all of the anesthesia nurse anesthetists administer contains opioids. Nurse anesthetists can also prescribe medicine for pain management after surgery. The conference discussed non-opioid medicines and other pain management options to minimize the use of opioids.

Approximately 150 nurse anesthetists and students attended the conference, which is available for streaming.

The conference co-sponsors are the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Minnesota Association of Nurse Anesthetists.