The role of the diabetes nurse is more in the educational role than in the patient care role although some patient care may be required. The path to become qualified as a nurse in the diabetic specialty requires both education and experience topped off with a nationally accredited certification examination. After these requirements have been met, the nurse can begin working in a doctor’s office that specializes in this disease.
Required education and experience
A bachelor’s degree is typically recommended to begin the process of becoming qualified as a diabetes nurse; however, an associate’s degree is the lowest required degree. After the student has passed all the required licensure examinations to become an actual registered nurse, they need to fulfill experience requirements for certification.
Patient care and education
The patient care element for a diabetes nurse typically revolves around those patients who are having difficulty managing the disease on their own. The nurse that specializes in and treats patients with diabetes typically measures blood sugar levels and administers insulin as needed. When children are involved, the use of an insulin pump may be used.
Patient education is one of the main duties of a diabetes nurse. The nurse will show the patient how to check their own blood sugar levels, provide them with information as to what the levels should be and how to administer insulin if needed. Additionally, the nurse in this aspect will provide education that deals with diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices required to keep the disease under control.
Diabetes can become a deadly disease if it is not properly treated. Most patients can treat the disease independently; however, they do need education as to how to do this successfully. The role of the diabetes nurse includes both the care and education of the patient to ensure the disease is managed properly. The nurse needs to participate in additional education and experience required to successfully become certified in the diabetes specialty.