Did you know that nurses are educators? They are responsible for educating patients about their condition, providing information and support, and helping them make informed decisions about their care. It’s one of the many hats they wear while on the job.
They are more than just nurses and insulin providers; they provide psychological support to patients dealing with day-to-day problems from a lifetime chronic disease.
Recent research states the number of people with diabetes is rising at an alarming rate. One-in-11 (463 million) individuals globally now live with diabetes. Nurses have a significant impact on how individuals with diabetes manage their condition.
However, there are 5.9 million fewer nurses than are required worldwide. It has led to an increase in demand for competent nurses. So what can a nurse do, apart from administering insulin and monitoring blood sugar?
Patients with chronic illnesses like diabetes undergo many tests, procedures, and treatments.
It’s common for them to feel overwhelmed by all this. Nurses support these patients in such situations by educating them about their condition and taking away some stress during tough times.
It’s a challenging illness to manage, and nurses must stay up with the newest treatments for diabetes.
By completing an RN to Master of Science in Nursing Degree, professionals may acquire expert knowledge and abilities necessary to enhance diabetes therapy. These programs also provide extra training in evidence-based nursing care.
Familiarizing with the Condition
There are different types of diabetes, and nurses educate their patients on their kind. They also explain the difference between type I and type II diabetes and how they work. Nurses also educate patients about diabetic emergencies such as:
- Low or high blood pressure
- Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose)
- Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)
- Ketoacidosis (a severe complication of uncontrolled diabetes)
Describe the Procedure
They provide information regarding different aspects of care, including pre-operative instructions and post-procedures arrangements, so that the patient understands what’s happening around them.
It helps reduce stress levels and anxiety among patients already dealing with health concerns.
Provide Emotional Support – Nurses also support patients emotionally and help them maintain a positive outlook towards their treatment. They encourage patients to be proactive in their care and take an active role in managing diabetes.
Diabetic patients are often victims of severe mood swings due to the condition and its treatment. Nurses help patients deal with these mood swings and support them on their road to recovery.
Promote a Healthy Lifestyle – Diabetes education is not just limited to providing information about the disease but also teaching patients how to live a healthy life even with diabetes.
It includes developing meal plans, physical activity suggestions, and coping with stress.
Nurses help patients set achievable goals and work on strategies for achieving these goals. It all helps patients feel empowered and encouraged to take better care of themselves.
Educating Family and Friends – Every patient diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t only deal with the disease but deals with their family members and friends who may be worried about them.
That’s where nurses come in. They educate family members and friends about the disease, its causes and symptoms, the treatment plan, and how they can help the patient. They also teach them about preventing diabetes from spreading within a family or group of friends.
Dealing With Diabetic Emergencies – Nurses should know what actions they need to take if their diabetic patient experiences an emergency event with low blood sugar. They should know how to administer an oral dose of glucose and use a glucometer to measure the patient’s blood glucose levels.
Traits and Qualities of an Educating Nurse
An exceptional nurse who can provide good care and education to diabetic patients must have the following qualities:
Effective Communication: A patient may already have a lot going on and may not understand all the medical jargon. Nurses need to have exceptional communication skills to break down complex information into easy-to-understand terms for their patients.
It’s also critical to recognize the significance of body language when dealing with a patient.
Positivity: A nurse’s role in educating patients is to be as positive and caring as possible. They should always inspire and encourage how life can be when dealing with chronic illnesses like diabetes.
Reliability: Patients rely on nurses for direction when taking care of themselves. Nurses are responsible for ensuring that patients know precisely what they need to do at home and how to take their medication.
Empathy: Nurses must understand what it’s like to live with diabetes and relate when trying to educate someone who has been diagnosed recently or had it for years.
Empathy can help make all the difference between providing quality care versus just going through the motions!
Patience: When it comes to diabetes education, patience is crucial. Some patients may be resistant to learning about their condition or taking on new responsibilities, so nurses must be prepared to offer support and guidance while remaining firm.
Detail Oriented: A nurse should never overlook even the smallest detail when educating a patient with diabetes. From explaining how insulin works to recommend a healthy diet, everything counts!
Listening Skills: Nurses need to put the needs of their patients first and work hard at understanding each patient’s concerns or fears without judgment.
The ability to listen and observe body language cues effectively is crucial for nursing professionals to ensure that each individual gets just what they want from treatment–speedily!
Confidence: When nurses have confidence in their abilities, they can better communicate with patients to help them understand the condition and how best to manage it.
Diabetes is complex, and people who suffer from it need all the help they can get to manage their condition. Nurses have a chance to educate patients about diabetes and assist them in living healthier lifestyles because they are in a position to help.
By being confident and good listeners, nurses can make a real difference in the lives of those living with diabetes.