The Credentialled Diabetes Educator
Christine Carne, Credentialled Diabetes Educator/ Registered Nurse
What service does a diabetes educator provide?
Credentialled diabetes educators (CDEs) are specialists in diabetes who support people to self-manage their diabetes effectively. We can be the first point of call when you are wanting more information, support and/or motivation in the management of your diabetes and can act as the link between other health professionals. CDEs have an in-depth knowledge on all aspects of diabetes and can recognise when you need to see other members of your health care team, for example, an optometrist or podiatrist.
How do you help people with diabetes?
While a GP can manage a patient’s care and treatment, a CDE can empower you to manage your own diabetes. We teach, coach and guide you to understand diabetes and how it affects your own personal life, setting personal goals to meet required lifestyle changes and ultimately improve your health. We can also help to organise tests and screenings for diabetes complications, which will vary depending on your diabetes, lifestyle and age.
Credentialled diabetes educators are required to participate in ongoing professional development within the specialty of diabetes education so are specialists in their field. You can locate a CDE on the ADEA website.
Why are you an important part of ‘Team Diabetes’?
CDEs often have more time than a GP to focus on you and your health. We can access resources and health professionals, provide up to date information and teach you self-management tools to enable you to manage your own diabetes and health. Think of us as personal coaches that empower you to look after your health yourself! Nowadays it is often easier to stay in touch with a CDE who can use face-to-face appointments, video-conferencing and phone calls as a way to communicate with you.
Do you have a story you can share?
As a facilitator of diabetes self-management workshops (DESMOND) I complete follow-up phone calls, if requested by a participant. On completing a call to an elderly pensioner who was feeling overwhelmed and tearful, who was living with a number of chronic health issues, she told me, “You have made me feel much better by just talking things through with you. You are a wealth of knowledge and I feel so much more informed and able to take the next step on my own.” I think it demonstrates what a difference that feeling of empowerment and support can make for people, at any age.