Opioid Crisis and RN Speciality Practice for Take Home Naloxone Kits
Canada is facing a serious and growing opioid crisis. The SRNA is working with other provincial and national organizations to better understand the impact of the Opioid Crisis and support SRNA members with the education and tools they need for their practice.
RN Specialty Practices supports Provision of Take Home Naloxone Kits in SK
The SRNA supports wide availability of Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits for individuals at risk of opioid overdose, their families, support persons and community-based organizations.
Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of opioids. It can be given intramuscularly (IM) or by nasal spray, and THN kits have been created to make this life-saving medication readily available. Naloxone is a Schedule II medication, which means that it is available without a prescription, and is stored behind the counter at the pharmacy. THN kits contain two doses of Naloxone, and the recipient receives appropriate training when a kit is provided. The training includes how to assess for opioid overdose, the steps for administering Naloxone, and a return demonstration. The acronym SAVE ME is a helpful reminder of the steps, which are:
- Stimulate (Unresponsive? Call 911)
- Ventilate (1 breath every 5 seconds)
- Muscular injection (1 mL of Naloxone)
- Evaluate (2nd dose?)
RNs in various settings across Saskatchewan can play an important role in providing THN kits. An RN Clinical Protocol template with a medical directive has been created to support this RN Specialty Practice. The template includes the elements of an RN Specialty Practice including the required competencies, the process steps, and the authority to provide this medication through a medical directive. The RN Clinical Protocol: Provision of Take Home Naloxone kit template is designed to be readily adapted and applied in various practice settings across the province.