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Reply by Author Susan G. Painter to Ali Duncan on “Opiate Crisis and Healthcare Reform in America: A Review for Nurses”

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July 16, 2018

Response by author Susan G. Painter to Ali Duncan on “Opiate Crisis and Healthcare Reform in America: A Review for Nurses” (May 31, 2017)

Thank you for your letter to the editor and your compelling responses. You stated, “A continuing education class, perhaps taught by a mental health professional who specializes in substance abuse would certainly be a benefit to all clinical staff.” As a consult liaison nurse in a number I trauma center, our consultation team works with administration to offer education to nursing and medical staff to support and expand knowledge in working with substance use patients and mental health patients, as requested.

It is imperative as practitioners to continue to minimize the stigma, and I myself would like to see administration in all hospitals to provide in services and workshops on substance use. Boards of nursing are requiring continued education for licensing renewal, and this is a good place to start. I am hopeful that someday all administrations will provide mandatory education on a yearly basis, as this is such an important issue we all face at the forefront.

As an educator, I am reviewing our curriculum for psychiatric nurse practitioners to ensure understanding of substance use is addressed throughout curriculum and covered more extensively during clinical rotations and experience.

We must continue the dialogue between practitioners, administrations, and policy makers in order to bring about change.

Sincerely,

Susan Painter

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