Diabetes educators specialise in the provision of diabetes self-management education for people with diabetes. The discipline is about assisting people with diabetes, their families and carers to gain the knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence to manage their condition.
Diabetes education assists people with diabetes to –
- Know what to do
- Know how to do
- Want to do it
- Be able to do it
- Recognise when to seek assistance
Diabetes Educators provide support and education for people with diabetes (including gestational diabetes) integrating clinical care, self-management education, skills training and disease specific information to motivate patients to:
- understand diabetes and make informed lifestyle and treatment choices
- incorporate physical activity into daily life
- use their medications effectively and safely
- use glucometers and monitor and interpret blood glucose levels
- manage hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia
- initiate and manage safe and effective insulin pump therapy.
GPs may refer a patient for diabetes education when:
- They are first diagnosed with diabetes
- Starting blood glucose monitoring at home
- Introducing diabetes tablets or insulin therapy
- Having difficulties reaching treatment targets and management goals such as blood glucose
- Having frequent or severe episodes of low or high blood glucose levels
- Lifestyle or life stage changes such as when starting an exercise program, planning to travel or starting school
- Planning pregnancy, during pregnancy and after delivery
- Feeling stressed or ‘burnt out’ by diabetes.