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Diabetes Education: Pharmaceutical Care to Patients and Personal/Professional Growth

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by Jennifer N. Clements, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, BCACP | Mar 03, 2017

Last month, I was asked to speak to a student organization regarding diabetes education at the School of Pharmacy at Presbyterian College. It was a great opportunity for me to inform the students about my educational background but also the additional steps I have taken to be involved with diabetes education.

After I reviewed my pre-pharmacy and pharmacy education, I discussed how I became involved with diabetes education and management during my post-graduate year one (PGY-1) pharmacy practice residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center. I referred to talking points about my involvement in organizations, such as AADE. I informed the students about the general membership, how this organization has allowed me to further network with individuals and how it has allowed me to gain experience within the organization through various opportunities. I provided the students my top tips for direct patient care as well as personal and professional growth.


Network, network, network. Meet individuals; go to meetings; and make it a habit to meet new people.


I wanted to focus on these particular high points because as future pharmacists, students will be involved in direct patient care, but should continue to strive personally and professionally with their career it and in professional organizations. Here are my top tips with additional notes.

Pharmaceutical Care to Patients

  • Ask direct and specific questions. It is important to be specific with a patient interview in order to obtain as much information as possible to identify a potential and/or actual problem for resolution.
  • Listen! It is essential to listen to the patient, rather than talk over the patient.
  • Provide proactive education. Teaching patients proactive strategies for diabetes management will lead to better outcomes long-term.
  • Empower and motivate. Through motivational interviewing, patients can take control of their therapeutic plans towards better glycemic control.
  • Treat the patient as an individual. Always treat the patient, not the number. Patients with diabetes are nouns – they are not adjectives (i.e., diabetics).

Personal and Professional Growth

  • Learn from performance appraisal. Learning from monthly or annual appraisal will allow one to strive to the next level in their knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Be involved on a state, regional, and national level. Doors of opportunity can present themselves for committee involvement to speaker appointments.
  • Seek certification through requirements. Research and review the requirements for additional certification with diabetes education or management.
  • Network, network, network. Meet individuals; go to meetings; and make it a habit to meet new people.

Jennifer Clements

 About the Author

Jennifer Clements received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Campbell University in 2006 and completed a primary care residency at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 2007. She is also a certified diabetes educator and board certified in pharmacotherapy. Currently, she is the Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy.

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