What is a Diabetes Nurse?

As a diabetes nurse, you’d be dealing with over nine percent of the population that has diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, in 2012, there were 29.1 million people living with diabetes. That number rises each year, which means that there will an increase in the number of diabetes nurses needed.

Exercise and Diet

Diabetes nurses will advise their patients in how to properly treat their condition through adjusting their diet and exercise. Much of the diabetes problem across the country is due to poor eating habits. While the patient is treating the diabetes, he or she has to learn self-management of the condition to ensure that there are no further complications.

Some patients have pre-diabetes, which requires a complete shift in their eating habits if they don’t want to develop the condition. A diabetes nurse will talk to the patient about their current eating habits as well as how to make healthy changes in the future.

Monitoring Sugar Levels

With the help of a blood glucose monitor, people with diabetes can keep an eye on their levels to ensure they are not experiencing spikes and dips in the amount of glucose in their blood. The patient will use a finger prick and glucose strip to test their blood throughout the day. They’ll give themselves injections based on the results they get with the monitoring system.

The diabetes nurse will be tasked with showing the patient how to use the glucose meter. They’ll provide paperwork that outlines how much insulin they should receive based on the reading on the meter. This can take some time, and the patient will have to visit the nurse frequently to have the results downloaded and discussed in the office.

Administer Injections

When patients are unable to give themselves injections, the diabetes nurse will have to administer the injections. This might need to be done in a hospital setting or when a patient is first diagnosed while they’re being trained in how to use the equipment and administer shots.

Along with those who might not be able to give themselves injections due to injuries, some patients with type 1 diabetes are small children who can’t do it themselves. The nurse will teach the parents how to administer the injections.

School and Qualifications

Diabetes nurses are registered nurses who have had advanced training in diabetes management. This is a specialized field in the area of nursing, but it doesn’t require extra years of schooling. The student who wants to become a diabetes nurse will have to take classes focused on diabetes management as part of their degree.

Related Resource: What is a Case Management Nurse?

A diabetes nurse is a nurse who educates patients about their diabetes. The diabetes nurse will help the patient create a diet and exercise plan and teach them how to monitor glucose levels and administer the insulin injections. The diabetes nurse is a diabetes manager who helps patients in various stages of their diagnosis from those who are first learning how they’re life has changed to those who have been monitoring their levels for years.