Pain management and more discussed during nursing debate

Amber Selfridge

Pain management, recovery and solutions were on topic by Kent State students at the nursing debate Monday night.

The debate was hosted by the College of Nursing and discussed the opioid epidemic and the public health policy.

Kody Elsayed, a sophomore public relations major and Inola Howe, a senior psychology major debated the side of better pain management by physicians. Brianna Sharp, a junior biology major and Nick Denman, a senior political science major discussed the rehabilitation and recovery side of the debate.

“I think that having students from all different majors debate is the most important part. Every public health policy issue is multi-faceted and that calls for a multi-disciplinary approach to it,” Thomas Watral, a junior nursing major said.   

This was the second debate held by the college of nursing and put together with the help of professor Kimberly Cleveland, Watral and Emelia Sherin, sophomore public relations major. 

“It is my honor to work with these health issue focused debate teams. Our KSU student teams are thoughtful, respectful and totally dedicated to creating the change they desire in the world. These students are not waiting for the world to change. They are changing the world one issue at a time,” Cleveland said.

The debate was structured like many debates, each side had their time to speak and then could ask questions back and forth during the “rapid fire” section. At the end it was opened up to the audience to ask questions.

During the debate students started adding in their own anecdotes and experiences about dealing with addiction in their families. Both sides went back and forth during the rapid fire, talking about solutions to ending the epidemic.

“Right now (rehabilitation) treatment is not solving the epidemic, it is putting a band-aid on a wound that needs time to heal,” Elsayed explained while defending the pain management side of the argument.

The rehabilitation and recovery side was quick to respond and give their opinions.

“I understand that pain management is a huge portion of it, but the reality is that we should have had pain management much earlier and we just didn’t. We cannot ignore the men and women who are dying right now,” Sharp said.

After the judges deliberated on who won the debate, Howe and Elsayed were announced as the winning team.

“I hope that people gain a new perspective and that anyone who views addicts as junkies take away that it is a lot more than that and we can shine a light on the humanity of the issue,” Howe said.

Professor Cleveland is already preparing for another debate to happen in the fall and is looking for students who are willing to take the stage and speak for what they believe in.

Amber Selfridge is the social sciences reporter. Contact her at [email protected].