A Part­ner Ap­proach to Di­a­betes Self Care

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Nancy Dunn New­port, VT

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.

Photo courtesy

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.

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