Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Meet Diabetes Educator, Maria Obeid

Oct 06, 2017
Maria Obeid, DNP, AGPCNP-BC, RN, CCRC
Nurse Practitioner/Researcher, Hyattsville, MD
Why did you choose to become a diabetes educator?

After receiving my Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), I obtained my first professional job as a nurse practitioner in endocrinology. I guess you can say that diabetes education found me! Throughout my academic years, I found the disease of diabetes rather intimidating and realized that managing diabetes can be quite a challenge. As I gained more experience in the field, I continued to learn and broaden my knowledge of this common chronic illness. As I learned about AADE and the role of a diabetes educator, I became more interested in the certifications available. Obtaining certification will prepare me to better educate our patients. I hope to obtain the BC-ADM certification by the end of the year.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

The most rewarding aspect of my job is when patients make adjustments to their self-care strategies and actually incorporate the new strategies into their daily lives. It makes me happy to see HbA1Cs lower than 7, consistent weight loss, and normal blood pressure levels, not to mention the overall satisfaction the patients feel as a result of their efforts. Knowing that I empowered them to make a difference in their lives is truly rewarding. 

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing diabetes educators today?

The biggest challenge diabetes educators face today is the lack of time we have to provide appropriate education to our patients. Education should not be viewed as a one-time event; there should be continual assessment and follow-up to best serve the needs of the patient. Likewise, patients struggle with lack of time to come in and receive comprehensive education. Reimbursement is also a big issue; I was glad to hear that CMS has allowed the National DPP to be a reimbursable benefit in 2018.

How has being an AADE member helped you treat patients?

Being a member of AADE has increased my confidence as a diabetes educator by giving me the education and support I need in order to provide my patients with quality education. AADE offers a tremendous number of resources, tools and learning activities that come in very handy in my current position. I couldn’t have come this far without the support of AADE; it has been my “go to” resource for obtaining the latest information regarding diet and all other aspects of diabetes. 

What are some of your interests outside of diabetes education?

I enjoy reading, traveling and spending time with my family. Cooking is my passion; knowing the basics of diabetes meal planning helps me prepare healthier meals. I love talking about food and enjoy sharing recipes with my patients and encouraging them to adapt a healthy diet & lifestyle!

Two of my favorite cookbooks are: Eater’s Choice Low-Fat Cookbook by Dr. Ron Goor & Nancy Goor and The Turkey Cookbook: 138 Ways to Cook America’s Favorite Bird by Rick Rodgers. My favorite cake recipe is below (the photo of the flag cake is made from this recipe).

North Carolina Pig Pickin CakeNorth Carolina Pig Pickin Cake

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 package Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-11 ounce can mandarin oranges

Icing:

  • 1 large can crushed pineapple (slightly drained)
  • 8-ounce container cool whip
  • 3-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients above and mix well with electric mixer. Place in three 8-inch cake pans lined with wax paper. (Can also be made in a 9 in. x 12 in. pan)
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Mix pineapple with vanilla pudding and blend well. Fold in cool whip & spread icing on cake once cool. Refrigerate.
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