Diabetes education available locally

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 13, 1999

The Diabetes Education Center at River Parishes Hospital recently received recognition by the American Diabetes Association.

This national recognition gives patients the confidence that they are selecting an educational program which has been endorsed by the ADA. One in which theycan be assured that all staff members have received adequate continuing education in the area of diabetes. This also gives diabetes educators a means todevelop additional quality self-management education programs.

In order to be awarded recognition, the ADA requires that programs provide education in 15 key areas to ensure that the patients receive adequate instruction. The 15 content areas are: Diabetes overview Nutrition Medications Monitoring Exercise Stress and psychosocial adjustment Family involvement and social support Foot, skin and dental care Relationship between nutrition, exercise, medication and blood glucose Prevention, detection and treatment of acute complications Prevention, detection and treatment of chronic complications Behavior change strategies, goal setting, risk factor reduction and problem- solving Benefits, risks and management options for improving glucose control Preconception care, pregnancy and gestational diabetes Use of health care system and community resources “Attaining this national recognition ensures that our patients are receiving the educational standards recommended by the ADA,” said Escipion Pedroza, M.D.endocrinologist and medical director of the Diabetes Education Center. “It willkeep the center well informed of all the latest development in diabetic therapy, including education and medical treatment.”Linnea Savoie, RN, diabetes nurse educator for the center, recently received a five-year certification by the National Certification Board of Diabetes Educators. This certification signifies that Savoie meets the standards set byher peers in the specialty field of diabetes education. She also received aninsulin pump certification, which enables her to instruct patients on the use of Minimed and Disetronic insulin pumps.

The ultimate goal at the Diabetes Educator Center is to provide diabetic patients with the knowledge and skills they need in order to keep their blood sugar in normal range. Savoie is responsible for teaching her patients aboutproper nutrition, exercise, blood-sugar testing, insulin usage, oral medications and stress management – all of which can prevent many potentially serious long-term complications. She also explains to them the importance ofperforming daily foot care and of having semi-annual dental check-ups and annual eye exams.

Instruction is provided on an individual or group basis for Type I, Type II, Gestational Diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance or “borderline diabetes.”All patients and their family members are trained in home blood glucose control. Also, all patients and their family members are invited to attend theCenter’s Diabetes Support Group meetings, which are held monthly to provide education information and encouragement.

“I wanted to get this certification in order to ensure that I have the education necessary to provide quality care to my patients,” said Savoie. “It will enableme to keep abreast of the latest trends in the treatment of diabetes.”

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