A Partner Approach to Diabetes Self Care
More than 25 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, and the number of diagnoses has been steadily rising - with 1.9 million new cases diagnosed in 2010. The annual economic burden of diabetes is an estimated $132 billion and increasing, mostly attributable to costly complications of the disease. Learning how to live with this chronic disease and avoid life threatening complications is a challenge many families face.
Taking good care of yourself can seem overwhelming when you have diabetes-whether you’ve just learned you have the disease or you’ve had it for a long time. There is a lot to consider, from eating healthy meals to exercising, monitoring your blood glucose, and taking your medications.
The Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at North Country Hospital is committed to providing the right tools and support to make diabetes self-care very manageable in your everyday life. This diabetes care team will partner with your medical providers, friends, and family members to make sure you have the comprehensive support, education, and self-management skills to better understand and cope with the disease.
Certified diabetes educators (CDE) counsel patients on how to incorporate healthy self-care behaviors into their daily lives and succeed in improving and maintaining their overall health. Using the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) “best practice” curriculum, they help patients identify their individual needs and the seven areas of diabetes care that can have an impact on their wellbeing.
“This program helps our patients to integrate diabetes care into everything else that is going on in their lives and in the context of how those things affect their health,” says Robin Hahn, RN, program coordinator. “We work together to set goals and learn the skills to accomplish them.”
After being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Susan Leavitt, pharmacy tech was one of the first participants in the Diabetes SelfManagement program at NCH. She experienced a dramatic drop in her A1C scores after completing the program. While Sue has slipped a little in the past year, she has learned the tools to manage her disease and is currently using them to get back on track
North Country’s program was accredited in April, 2012, and has met all the requirements and national standards for certification by AADE. The program team includes Robin Hahn, BSN, RN, , registered dietitians (RD) Anick Desorcy), CDE, and Barbara Grant, RD, CDE, Joan Wheeler, RN, CDE, and medical director Christopher Rickman, MD.
Patient education is an integral part of diabetes care. In order to
become a CDE one must first meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE). NCBDE requires the applicant be an eligible healthcare professional, i.e. nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, occupational or physical therapist; and have professional practice experience with a minimum of 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management education experience, with 40% of those hours accrued in the most recent year preceding application.
North Country’s diabetes education program is available to persons with diabetes, their families, friends, and significant other. By offering a diabetes self-management program, through a collaborative effort, North Country Hospital provides patients with a supportive environment and the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills, and attitudes for effective self-care. For more information ask your doctor or call Robin Hahn, RN, 334-3264.
Susan Leavitt, pharmacy tech, meets with her partner for nutrition, Anick Desorcy. Anick is a registered dietician (RT) and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE.) After being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Susan was one of the first participants in the Diabetes Self-Management program at NCH.