Minimal standards in diabetes education have been set out in a document developed by the associations that are open to diabetes educators. This document also names diabetes education as a special healthcare specialty, promotes DSMT (diabetes self-management training) as a vital part of the treatment of diabetes and manages excellence in DSMT.
Diabetes is a disease where the body is not able to metabolize glucose in the blood. Type-1 diabetes is caused by the damage of Beta islet cells located in the pancreas. When working properly these cells usually secretes insulin but for people with Type-1 diabetes these cells are not working. Type-1 diabetics will need to be on insulin therapy for the rest of their lives. Type-2 diabetes is cause by the destruction of insulin receptors on cell surfaces which causes the cells to be resistant to insulin. Type-2 diabetes can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication and in some cases with lifestyle changes alone.
Because the management of diabetes is mostly patient self-care, education for diabetics is extremely important. There are certain standards of care that are extremely important for the patient to know and understand the importance of.
The minimal standards in education for newly diagnosed diabetic are several. First is how to use medications safety and for maximum effectiveness. Second is the monitoring of blood glucose levels and how to use those results in self-management. Third is the prevention, detection and treating of acute complications. Fourth is preventing, detecting and treating chronic complications. Fifth is the development of personal strategies that address psychosocial issues and concerns. And sixth is the development of personal strategies to promote health and behavior.
The most important member of any diabetic care team is the diabetic themselves. The diabetic needs to learn self-care in many areas and have the responsibility for this self care. They need to learn about foot problems and how to care for their feet. They need to eat healthily as well as control their medications and daily monitor their blood glucose levels. They need to brush their teeth regularly as well as floss daily. They also need to make sure to see their other team members on a regular basis as well as educate themselves on every aspect of their disease. Without the diabetic’s partnership with the primary care physician at the head of the team, no treatment plan will work well and the disease will gain control.
Minimal standards in diabetes education have been set out in a document developed by the associations that are open to diabetes educators.
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