We often hear our patients discuss their New Year’s resolutions: to start an exercise program or exercise more often; to eat out less frequently or at least make better choices when eating out; or to increase the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Noble goals and hopefully ones they will start and continue.
But we, as educators, also should consider a “fresh start” on some of the work we do. Although I believe we are highly dedicated health care providers who spend countless hours helping patients achieve one goal or another, there is more to our work than that. As we proceed into an era of even more accountability and fewer dollars, we need to continue to focus on the quality of care while considering the efficiency of our practices to assure sustainability. In addition, we need to remember to take time for ourselves.
Some questions you may ask yourself include: Should I be more interactive in my approach to patients, allowing them to contribute more to the decision making process? Do I listen attentively? Are my power point presentations clear, interesting and up to date? Could I be more fiscally responsible in my practice and assure continuation of delivery? Do I overuse my email or cell phone at work? Do I take care of myself by getting adequate sleep? Am I an example to those I coach in my own eating and exercise behaviors?
It is an excellent time to reflect on our year as diabetes educators. To look at the quality of our programs and our relationships with our patients, to review the way we practice, and to look inward at the lifestyle decisions we make. Although 2011 may have been a wonderful year, by reflecting on the good and setting an even higher standard, perhaps 2012 can be even better!
Wishing you a wonderful and rewarding 2012!