Today, 12 May, is International Nurses Day and in the current climate we are thankful for all the nurses working on the frontlines to keep people safe, especially those living with diabetes.
At Diabetes WA, we have six Credentialled Diabetes Educators who are all qualified nurses. We are grateful to have these staff members on board as they provide a range of expertise and advice that is extra important when supporting people living with diabetes.
Diabetes WA Credentialled Diabetes Educator and nurse, Nyaree Lawler, finds her role rewarding and loves being able to connect with people.
“Nurses have the privilege of being a part of people’s lives, from birth to older age,” she says. “We often see people at their most vulnerable.”
While nurses have a very diverse job description, their overarching role is helping foster good physical and mental wellbeing within the community.
While their work can range from taking blood pressure to wound care, their main role is to connect with people and support their patients while they are unwell.
“You know the times when you feel like you have made the most difference are those times when you are ‘just there’, usually at a time when you can no longer make any difference to the outcome but you are there, just being there,” Nyaree says.
For people living with diabetes, nurses are a crucial part of their healthcare team. They provide ongoing self-management support and education and also help people to navigate the health system to ensure they have the appropriate testing and reviews to help prevent complications in the future.
Outside the hospital or health clinic, nurses also play a role in supporting people living with diabetes in other parts of the community.
School nurses play a vital role in helping children living with diabetes to stay safe at school, while aged care nurses help older Western Australians manage their diabetes with practical assistance, for example teaching someone how to inject insulin or how to check their blood glucose levels.
“While nurses provide a lot of practical support, they also provide a listening ear and emotional support when people are struggling with the ongoing burden of diabetes,” Nyaree says.