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CDC posts 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheets

May 26, 2015

I was shocked when I saw the new diabetes statistics. In less than 4 years, the number of Americans with diabetes grew from 24 million to 26 million. The document can be found on the CDC website. The numbers are staggering and there is little doubt the number will continue to increase. Of interest was that the estimated costs related to diabetes were not updated; the 2007 estimates were $174 billion in direct and indirect costs, but I’m sure this number will too increase.

I take a lot of pride being a diabetes educator and I know the education I provide produces positive measureable outcomes. However, I know I cannot educate everyone in my community who has or is at risk for diabetes. How can we empower individuals to change lifestyles which place them at risk for diabetes?

When I read the new statistics, I wonder if a solution is to increase the number of diabetes educators. How can we increase the number of qualified diabetes educators when there is a lack of interested individuals? I often try to recruit nurses and dietitians to take the certification exam, but I have found that not everyone is passionate about providing DSME. Perhaps we should allow licensed practicing nurses or licensed professional nurses to take the certification exam if they demonstrate the competence to provide DSME.

Are any of you surprised to see the new statistics? Do you have any suggestions for solutions to increase the number of diabetes educators?


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  1. Feb 24, 2011

    I think the certification should be given to individuals who can pass the exam and show competance to provide DSME regardless of nursing credentials. There are many of us who would love the certification who have bachelors degrees in fields other than nursing or diet/nutrition and are currently working in this field and are dedicated to helping patients achieve better health outcomes.
  2. Feb 22, 2011

    I definitely believe we need to increase the number of professionals who are comfortable with counseling patients to make behavior changes to prevent and manage diabetes given this continued increase in diabetes. I also think that we need to increase access to DSME. People for the most part rely on their primary care providers for health education/care. Now that I am working in this setting,( A patient centered medical home) i believe that self management education needs to be an oingoing process and best if done in a team. An educator in this setting can help not only with patient care, but raising the standard of care of all the team. This will help increase access to DSME, prevention and interest in other team members.
  3. Feb 14, 2011

    Kit, Excellent point!
  4. Feb 14, 2011

    Elsa, How can I find a CHW? I practice in South Texas
  5. Feb 14, 2011

    I do not agree with allowing LPN's or LVN's to sit for the CDE exam. Perhaps it is short-sightedness on my part, as I am a RD. However, the advantage presently would be to have CDE's (RD or RN) be able to obtain their NPI number and bill for DSME. Allowing LPN's/LVN's to be CDE's will not strengthen this attempt. If more RD's and CDE's were aware of the reimbursement opportunities of MNT and DSME, perhaps we could get more students and RD's/RN's interested. I live in a rural area, so as a RD I can be the sole provider of an accredited DSME program. If you know how to bill and run a business, you can do as well or (much) better as in an "industry" position (which it seems many CDE's are being lured to, as traditional education programs dwindle and offer far less compensation). A local university has placed two RD students with me for upcoming rotations. They are both interested in diabetes and private practice. Hopefully, I can show them the possibilities and rewards of DSME!
  6. Feb 11, 2011

    I think the National Certification Board for Diabetes Education (NCBDE) should consider letting CHWs (Community Health Workers) to participate at the CDE certification program to get the license, notice that only people with a good background can achieve the CDE. As a reminder, Community Health Workers (CHWs) are public health professionals who are trusted members of the communities they serve due to cultural competence practices. CHWs work with doctors, nurses and other health professionals to help people stay healthy and manage any chronic conditions they have, including (as an example) the HIV and the Anti Retroviral Treatment's (ART) side effect... diabetes, that we began to see at the Primary Health Care Sites. Also, CHWs work in many different settings, including clinics and primary health centers, hospitals, community centers, and schools. Thus, it is a work force that is ready to reach a qualified role. Thanks
  7. Feb 08, 2011

    Barbara, I agree with your suggestion. I have offered my services to the university to discuss the diabetes topics but I have never been taken up on the offer. I agree CDE should be providing the education to RNs, and RDs. What are your thoughts on allowing LVN/LPNs to take the exam if they demonstrate competency?
  8. Feb 08, 2011

    I think there needs to be more courses available to RN's and RD's, etc. during undergraduate or graduate work about diabetes. The professors who have been teaching for many years may not be up-to-date about diabetes and may not want to offer a specific course about diabetes. To become a CDE you need experience, to get experience you need some background education to land the job. What do people working in higher education think? Are there enough opportunities out there?
  9. Feb 07, 2011

    Hi, I am seeking information on HbA1C machines to use in our DMC. If anyone has anything to offer in terms of which machines are better than others, and why, I would appreciate your input. Thank you, Kathy
  10. Feb 04, 2011

    As an alternative to formal DSME, what about a certified peer-mentor program? With rigorous training and re-certification requirements, of course. With too few interested health professionals (and other barriers when it comes to time and reimbursement), why not turn to people living with diabetes to educate and support each other?

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