(CLOVIS, CA) – A program to certify medical students as NARCAN® Nasal spray trainers began this month at California Health Sciences University (CHSU). More than 80 medical students from CHSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine participated in the first training session.
NARCAN® certified training was offered through the CA Bridge Navigator program, which was launched in 2018 to expand access to medications used to treat opioid use disorder in emergency departments.
“Our goal is for all CHSU medical students to become certified trainers and for NARCAN® available for community distributionsaid Dr. Francisco Ibarra, clinical pharmacist in emergency medicine at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and adjunct assistant professor at California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“They will treat and educate patients in the valley. We see a lot of opioid overdoses and in fact deaths here that could be prevented.added Dr. Ibarra.
The educational portion of the training was conducted by Dr. Rais Vohra, UCSF Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Clinical Pharmacy, Acting Health Officer, Fresno County Department of Public Health and Medical Director, Division Fresno Madera, California Poison Control System. Dr. Vohra shared his experiences as an emergency physician administering the life-saving naloxone to patients who have overdosed.
“I think of NARCAN® as the best antidote to make sure fentanyl doesn’t kill. We know it works well in emergency departments and ambulance services, and now we really need people to have it in their homes and anywhere people might overdose,said Dr. Vohra.
Second-year medical residents and addiction navigators from area hospitals helped answer questions and provided hands-on training for NARCAN® Nasal spray. Using training devices, medical students learned to administer the nasal spray on mannequins at CHSU’s Simulation Center.
In addition to helping save a life when a patient overdoses, medical students learned to show compassion for people with opioid use disorders and help them connect with recovery resources and addiction navigators for additional support and assistance.
According to the CA Bridge website, addiction navigators support treatment for opioid use disorder in the hospital emergency department with immediate access to addiction treatment medications, navigation to continuing care in the community and continuing education, resources and mentorship.
“We work with vulnerable populations and people who may not have a cohesive support network. You could be the first person to show them you’re there for them when they’re ready to take that first step, without judgment or stigma surrounding their decision.said Brooke Crosswhite, second-year medical student and head of the overdose prevention task force at the CHSU Osteopathic Student Medical Association club.
CHSU Student Leaders Plan Opportunities for Medical Students to Distribute NARCAN® and train people to use it correctly at health fairs, schools, and during internships and rotations.
Richele C. Kleiser
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
California University of Health Sciences
120 N. Clovis Avenue | Clovis, CA 93612
559-272-8192 | chsu.edu