A diabetes nurse educator is a nurse who specializes in the care and management of patients with diabetes. They can be registered nurses, advanced-practice nurses, or nurses working in an expanded role. They can manage patients with Type I and Type II diabetes, as well as women with gestational diabetes. Diabetes education can be one on one with patients, or via a group class. Diabetes nurse educators must also reach patients about the importance of diet and nutrition. Patients must learn to count carbohydrates and read food labels. They also need to learn to log their blood sugars and food to find out how they respond to the foods they chooses.
Diabetes nurse educators also help monitor and track patients' labs to ensure their blood glucose is managed. Periodic Hemoglobin A1C checks are needed depending on the physician. Diabetes nurses can educate patients on what the test is, and why they need it done. Another unique advantage diabetes nurse educators have is that they can assess patients' ability and readiness to learn. If a patient is having difficulty understanding the concepts surrounding diabetes, the nurse can recruit the help of a family member or friend to assist in the management of the patient's diabetes.
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