Caring for our Patients in the Hospital Setting
We have recently begun a series of continuing education programs for nurses at the local hospital. The initial programs were mandated and included the goals for blood glucose control for the hospital ICU and non ICU patient, the physiological rationale for blood glucose control goals within the hospital setting, and appropriate (or inappropriate) use of insulin pump therapy and utilization with ICU and non ICU patients. We had great attendance due to the mandatory nature of the training. Our goal was to encourage more understanding in regards to the importance of achieving blood glucose targets in the hospital setting as well as the nurse’s role in making this happen.
This week we started a new education series that was not mandated but provides additional education on the pathophysiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, how to achieve goals, and technology to help the process (present and future). Discussions followed today’s presentation on pathophysiology. Myths about the cause of diabetes were hopefully dispelled. The blame game of why the patient got diabetes in the first place was discouraged, focusing on the potential for control from this time forward. The good news is, even without the mandatory nature of the program, nurses signed up, and individuals came up after the presentation and stated they could hardly wait for the next program, which is slated for June.
I believe the take home message is that nurses (non CDEs) ARE interested in learning about all aspects of diabetes. The head nurse will now also include an email to dietitians on the in-services, as she felt it was so helpful to the nursing staff. Other benefits of this educational outreach series include: nurses receive continuing education credits and begin to recognize the importance of patient referrals for diabetes education after discharge; it provides an excellent opportunity for diabetes educators to network; and it gives a face to the diabetes education program. We, as the educators, also gain from the process as presenting to peers is challenging and always requires a review of our own understanding of the complexity of diabetes. If you or a colleague could use a refresher, AADE has an excellent online course “Advanced Inpatient Management.” It is an evidence based update for the practitioner.
Please share what professional education programs you have offered at your site. Have you reached out to hospitalists and if so, have you been successful and how have you approached the education process?