Despite weekly calls to her endocrinologist and increasing doses of insulin, the 60-year-old woman couldn’t get her blood sugar under control. She finally ended up in the emergency room with symptoms related to uncontrolled blood sugars.
That’s where the mystery was solved. A diabetes educator asked to see how the patient was injecting herself with insulin and saw that she was doing it incorrectly; most of the insulin was running down her arm instead of getting into her system.
It was a simple fix, but it took a diabetes educator who has the time to spend with a patient to solve the problem. That’s one reason endocrinologist Michelle Magee, MD, whose studies include how emergency rooms handle patients with diabetes, says a diabetes educator is “worth his or her weight in gold."
“Education assures success, and a great educator can engage patients in learning about self-care management,” Magee said.
Magee’s practice in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area includes 25 endocrinologists and 25 diabetes educators who serve a varied group of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Magee says diabetes educators are invaluable in teaching patients about eating properly, adapting their lifestyle to living well with diabetes, monitoring blood sugar, taking medications safely, giving injections, and knowing when to call their doctors or seek emergency help.
“Diabetes educators are an amazing resource to tap into to support patients and to help you get their diabetes controlled,” said Magee.