NCPD Article

Naloxone Training: An Opportunity for Oncology Nurses to Save Lives

Gretchen A. McNally

Maureen L. Saphire

opioids, naloxone, pain management, opioid misuse
CJON 2022, 26(6), 668-672. DOI: 10.1188/22.CJON.668-672

Opioids are commonly prescribed for pain management in oncology; however, there is a growing concern for nonmedical opioid use in patients with cancer. The oncology practice can implement harm-reducing strategies such as providing naloxone and overdose response training. A hospitalwide survey of interprofessional oncology providers evaluating experiences and knowledge related to opioid use disorders was distributed via email. This article focuses on survey responses about naloxone administration from nurses, including advanced practice providers (APPs). Many oncology nurses and APPs report that they would feel comfortable administering naloxone in the community with training, and the majority were interested in attending a training course. These results represent an opportunity for oncology nurses and APPs to positively affect the opioid epidemic, not only for patients with cancer but also for families and communities.

At a Glance

  • People using opioids for cancer-related pain are at risk for nonmedical opioid use and overdose.
  • Oncology nurses and APPs indicate high interest in further training on naloxone administration in the community.
  • Access to naloxone and training to respond to an opioid overdose in the community is an opportunity to save lives.
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