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DSEA Joins with Delaware Division of Public Health to Offer Opioid Addiction Professional Development


September 15, 2017 


DSEA Joins with Delaware Division of Public Health to Offer Opioid Addiction Professional Development


Newark, DE - Delaware is not immune to the national crisis of opioid addiction and death.

In fact, there were 308 fatal drug overdoses, many of them from opioids, in 2016, up significantly from 229 in 2015.

These sobering facts are why the Delaware Division of Public Health and the Delaware State Education Association (DSEA) have come together to offer professional development training for school nurses focused on opioid addiction and treatment.

The most recent training was held on Thursday, September 14th at the DSEA offices in Newark.

“Nurses are on the front lines in a variety of settings and are well-qualified to assist in assessing, diagnosing, and managing patients,” said Rebecca King, Director of Nursing for the Delaware Division of Public Health. “Nurses can shape how communities view addiction by treating it as a chronic illness, and not a moral failing.”

Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn, who spoke to participants at the September 14th training, echoed Rebecca King’s assessment of the role nurses play in dealing with the crisis.

“I am grateful that so many nurses took time out of their busy schedules to attend this training,” said AG Denn.  “This public health crisis requires all of us to pitch in, and nurses are in a unique position to detect and address opioid abuse.”

In addition to learning about the current statistics and state of the opioid crisis, participants also learn about the use of naloxone to treat overdoses and what they can do in their professional and residential communities to raise awareness and provide education.

The training, titled “The Epidemic of Substance Abuse Disorder in the First State”, is open to public health and school nurses, as well as all DSEA members.  Nurse participants are eligible to receive three (3) continuing-education unit hours towards licensure requirements for attending.  The Delaware School Nurses Association was also involved with this training by helping to write the CE credit with DSEA.

Megan Fioravanti, RN NCSN, a school nurse in the Red Clay Consolidated school district, found the session to be helpful and informative.  “School nurses are on the frontlines.  We know our students and we are well positioned to positively influence them and help them into treatment or prevent an overdose.”  Fioravanti continued with what she will bring back to her worksite, “Always offer resources to students, families, and community – you never know when you may save a life.”

DPH and DSEA will continue to offer this valuable training throughout the year, helping keep nurses and educators prepared to assist their patients, students, and families in treating and overcoming opioid addiction.