By Lucille Hughes DNP, MSN/Ed, CDCES, BC-ADM, FADCES
As a certified diabetes care and education specialist (CDCES) for over 34 years, I personally could not wait to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. More importantly, as the director of diabetes education for a 400-bed community hospital where I oversee inpatient and outpatient diabetes education; professionally, I could not wait for my team and patients to be vaccinated. I am happy to report that as I am writing this blog, I have received the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine and so has my staff.
That’s right, on December 23rd, at 7:15 a.m. I received my vaccine. It was painless and easy. Most importantly, it provided a huge sense of relief and was a positive step toward eliminating my fears. What fears exactly? Well, let’s start with my fear for my patients.
As a CDCES I saw firsthand the devastation this virus imposed upon our patients with type 2 diabetes. As we now know, individuals with unmanaged type 2 diabetes and obesity are considered at high risk for complications from COVID. We also know, many of our patients fit that description and yet, those with type 1 and well managed diabetes are at risk as well. By receiving the flu vaccine in September and the COVID vaccine today, I believe I am doing my part to protect the vulnerable individuals that need us the most. I want to ensure I will be here for them and that I don’t put them at any unnecessary risk by coming to see me.
My second fear is for my own health. I am 59 years old and a breast cancer survivor. I take every day as a gift and want to have many more to celebrate life, love and family. I also have a new grandson who I want to continue to see, hold and love. So, as you can see, I had many fears; yet, more importantly, a tremendous amount of motivation to receive the vaccine. There is no guarantee that this vaccine will truly protect me from ever getting COVID-19 or experiencing any side effects; however, the benefits by far outweigh the risks. If you are struggling with the idea of whether or not to get the vaccine, think of your patients and family and do it for them. They need you. We all need you.
Thank you to all diabetes care and education specialists for what you do every day and for your continued support of diabetes self-management education, training and support.
Together we will get through this. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and COVID-free 2021!
FREE Webinar: Get an overview of everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine and its benefits for people with diabetes in this free live webinar from ADCES. Find out how to speak with clients about the vaccine and address concerns. Join us Tuesday, January 26 at 1 pm ET and earn 1 CE. Register now at https://bit.ly/3oODyKs
ADCES Perspectives on Diabetes Care
The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists Perspectives on Diabetes Care covers diabetes, prediabetes and other cardiometabolic conditions. Not all views expressed reflect the official position of the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists.
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