Sunday, February 11, 2007

What would you want them to know?

Once again, I want your input on something. If you had an opportunity to tell your future nurses anything you wanted about diabetes and its care, what would you like them to know?
One of my classes this semester is Pharmacology. I am in a study group with 5 other nursing students. The next chapter is on medications for the treatment for diabetes. I am taking this golden opportunity to educate the nurses of tomorrow. I'm having trouble figuring out which information is the most important. I thought I would get the opinions of other diabetics (or people with diabetes, depending on who you are :-) ). What are the biggest things nurses/doctors do that annoy you in reference to diabetes? What should they know? What do they "know" that needs to be unlearned? Basically, like the title says: What do you want them to know?


Anonymous said...

That "you shouldn't EVER eat sugar" is not helpful, and is hopelessly outdated!
What an awesome opportunity!


Lili said...

How an insulin pump works. When a "diabetes diet" is appropriate (i.e. someone on R and NPH or a Type 2) and when it's not. Why R and NPH is not the best regimen for someone who can afford newer insulins. Why babies and children with Type 1 are different from adults and why not treating them that way can be dangerous. children.

Emergency treatment of diabetics - DKA is serious business, especially in children, don't take away sugar from a diabetic with low blood sugar (I know sometimes this is a hospital rule, but I think it's wrong), be very careful when calculating correction doses of insulin - formulas do not fit all and insulin doses for adults don't work for children.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Hmmmm. Not exactly sure what I would want to communicate.

Most often, when I think of clinicians (other than a small handful of really special people) are too, well, clinical!

I wish they could understand that it's not always black & white, that 2 + 2 does not always = 4 (somedays it's 3 and other days it's 5 - depending on stuff, you know).

I wish they could understand that it's always a struggle trying to find the right balance between a satisfying lifestyle and good diabetes management. Again, there's so much "gray area" there that it is hard to comprehend without living it.

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to connect with at least a few future caregivers, and I think you'll make a great impression on them.

Take care!

Jonah said...

I had a nurse tell me that type 1s who eat right and excercise can go off insulin. YARGH! They should know that insulin resistance is not the only cause of diabetes, for starters.
They should know that individual diabetics are not the same and do not respond to the same treatments; that some people can eat what others can't, that some insulin regimens work for some people and not others.
They should realize that any diabetic who has fairly decent control probably knows what he is doing and should have some respect for patients' knowledge about their own bodies.

MileMasterSarah said...

Please LISTEN to me when I come to you with a dilemna. I struggled so much with my blood sugars while running, and when I explained my dilemna each doctor and nurse I consulted with told me that it just wasn't possible for my blood sugars to do that in the circumstances I described. Well thank you, but that isn't helpful.

Please understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If I have a problem with something like say, pain, please don't say that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to misperceptions of pain (My back doesn't hurt because I'm a diabetic okay?). When you find out my daughter is a type 1, please don't respond with an "Well didn't you expect that?" Also, when you find out that my daughter is a type 1 also, don't respond with "Don't you feel bad about that?" Of course I feel bad, thanks for twisting the knife in an already open wound.
Please treat me like a responsible adult who is required to maintain this illness when you aren't around, which is 99.9% of the time. Please make my a1c blood draws convenient for me. Please return my phone calls. It may not seem an important thing to you, but it could be EVERYTHING to me.

bethany said...

i wish that when people hear that i have an insulin pump that they would stop saying, "wow so your diabetes is really bad!" it's not really bad - but the pump makes life easier (for some) and about the different types of diabetes ... oohhh jeez there's so much ... i just wish that if someone is going to be a doctor or a nurse, that they could just get a taste of it so they could understand what we're going through - i wish they just all were compasionate and that they understand that it's just a number ... one high number isn't going to cause me to loose my foot <3

Chrissie in Belgium said...

They MUST be informed. Know how the disease "works". Obviosly they MUST know the difference between T1 and T2, which unfortunately often isn't the case! They should know how an insulin pump works and be knowledgeable about DKA. But then it is equally essential to understand that each diabetic reacts differently. I ditto Jonah's comments. And thus, as Sarah put it, LISTEN to what the diabetic or another person close to the diabetic has to say! Don't disregard what they are saying! Assuming the diabetes is relatively well managed, each diabetic knows his own body best. And finally, don't judge the diabetic; you can never really put yourself into another person's shoes.

Sorry Jen - if I go on and on about coke - it is just that it has helped me so much! I was originally taught and did use orange juice.

Lyrehca said...

As others said, know the difference between types 1 and 2, and realize that your longterm type 1 patients in great shape tend to know a lot, so don't talk down to them. And answer every question they ask, and if you don't know, admit you don't know and find out what the right answer is.

Minnesota Nice said...

Great comments preceeding me!
First and foremost, a high AlC is not always the result of "cheating on one's diet". The use of the word "cheating" is indeed a bureaucratic insult.
Secondly, realize that there are a b'zillion factors that need to be balanced to have good control, and that it is hard, hard work, each and every day.
Thirdly, give us some credit for knowing what we need. Five years ago when I was having a pre-op appointment for my vitrectomy, my primary had the wisdom to say, "Now Kathy, the recommendation for surgery is to take half of your normal basal insulin. You have proven that you are capable of good control and I know that you'll do what you think is best - I'm just giving you the clincal guidelines". I really appreciated his respect.

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