Sessions to Focus on Opioid Crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled since 1999. From 2000 to 2015, more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. Because of this widespread problem, and because CRNAs are on the frontlines when it comes to access to opioids, this year’s Annual Congress is devoting several sessions to addressing opioid use and misuse.

“It has just been easiest to write a prescription, and that has really caused the overprescribing of opioids our country is seeing,” said Jackie Rowles, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ANP-BC, DPNAP, DAAPM, FAAN, nurse anesthesia program director of the Leighton School of Nursing at Marian University Indianapolis. “We are well trained in intraoperative and postoperative pain management and chronic pain management. But we’re not just looking at opioid or one type of drug therapy. There are several different types of pain management tools available to providers.”

These sessions at this year’s congress aim to cover several facets of the opioid crisis, from examining alternative treatments to helping victims of substance use disorder. For more information, visit AANA’s Opioid Safety Resource page.

Opioids Versus Non-Opioids:
A Chinese Menu Dilemma — 1 From Column A or 2 From Column B?
Sunday, Sept. 10, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

In this session, you’ll explore alternative non-opioid medications used for postoperative pain and in the perioperative arena, in addition to learning the benefits of non-opioid treatment over opioid treatment in the surgical setting.

Jan Stewart Memorial Wellness Lecture (Supported by the AANA Foundation)
Safe Anesthesia Care of the Patient with Substance Use Disorder 
Sunday, Sept. 10, 8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Read an interview with panel moderator Linda Stone, DNP, CRNA, in this pre-issue.

Acute Surgical Pain Management Panel
Sunday, Sept. 10, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

In this panel, participants will learn tips how to improve and master ultrasound skills, discover new ultrasound guided nerve blocks available in the contemporary anesthesia world and innovations in acute pain management, understand new blocks in ultrasound guided techniques, learn injection techniques for major joint (shoulder, hip, and knee) injections, and explore protective mechanisms to prevent neurapraxia in the patient undergoing regional anesthesia.

Lunch Symposium: Putting Control Into the Hands of the CRNA: Ultrasound Infiltration Techniques and Opioid Sparing Strategies
Sunday, Sept. 10, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Earn CE credit and learn about the latest techniques related to opioid use while managing post-surgical pain. Supported by Pacira Pharmaceauticals, Inc. Sign up at

Opioid Crisis Versus Competency? Pharmacologic Considerations of Opioid Use for Surgical and Non-Surgical Pain Management
Monday, Sept. 11, 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

In this interactive session, participants are encouraged to share successes and challenges using different pain management techniques, learn what hasn’t worked for others, and ask questions of fellow participants.

Acute or Chronic Pain Related to Pediatric Patients
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In an interactive session, participants will discuss their successes and challenges in handling acute or chronic pain in complex pediatric patients and where chronic pain patients present for surgery.