The Certification Board for Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CBDCE, formerly NCDBE) surveyed CDCES credential holders, both in late April and again late July, wanting to hear more about what CDCESs were experiencing during this COVID-19 pandemic. They received a great response rate to both surveys!
What did they learn?
Unsurprisingly, the CDCES community continues to provide care to people with and at risk for diabetes – of the 1436 and 1510 respondents respectively, the percentage of CDCESs actively employed or volunteering as a health care professional during the pandemic held steady for both surveys at right around 90 percent. The majority (91%) of CDCES respondents are working in a clinical capacity in inpatient or outpatient settings.
With regard to changes in diabetes-related responsibilities, over half (54%) of respondents were providing the same or greater number of hours as before the pandemic in the early survey, with the percentage actually increasing to over 62% in the later survey. Good news was also seen when though almost 30% of respondents reported a decrease in the number of paid hours originally, results of the more recent survey identified that the percentage of CDCESs who were experiencing a decrease in the number of paid hours had decreased to less than 16 percent.
The percentage of CDCES respondents who were providing COVID-specific services, such as screening or inpatient care, held steady for both surveys at approximately 22 percent. The top three hardships experienced by CDCES respondents included: work fatigue, compassion fatigue, and isolation. (See the ADCES tip sheet on Self-Care for DCES During COVID.) At the time of surveys, many respondents also commented on difficulties with reimbursement for telehealth.
Note: There has been much movement in the telehealth area, even within the past month, with the latest (as of August 11) being that accredited/recognized DSMES programs, as an entity, are now included on the approved list of telehealth providers. Learn more about this and access a multitude of telehealth/DSMES/Covid resources
CBCDE also collected positive stories from all of you working through this pandemic crisis. What were you doing to meet the needs of people with diabetes? How was your practice or organization adapting to COVID-19? What did you learn? Check out a sample of these stories.
Stay tuned for more insight over the coming months on your experiences during this pandemic. Currently, ADCES is partnering with the ADA on a survey to look at how COVID-19 is affecting both DSMES programs and the people they serve.