Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
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Opioid overdose prevention training needs: Findings from emergency medical services providers in Baltimore County, Maryland.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers are on the frontlines of the opioid response. This study explored the EMS training needs in Baltimore County, Maryland. An online survey conducted between January-June 2021 assessed knowledge, attitudes, awareness, and self-efficacy to use opioid overdose prevention strategies; burnout, compassion fatigue, stress, and wellness; and training needs among EMS providers (N = 256). Participants reported positive attitudes toward the use of opioid treatment guidelines and confidence in their ability to use the guidelines. They indicated positive attitudes toward harm reduction, but less favorable attitudes toward opioid use disorder (OUD). Although the participants understood the role of a peer recovery specialist moderately well, they were not fully comfortable with making a referral. They reported relatively low levels of burnout and compassion fatigue and good wellness practices, but indicated a moderate level of stress associated with COVID-19. Perceived training needs included: lifetime fitness and wellness, trauma-informed care, stigma awareness, stages of change, and harm reduction. Offering these trainings and enhancing EMS providers' comfort to make referrals to peer recovery support services may strengthen the referral systems and connect overdose survivors to a continuum of care.

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