Training reduces complications and hazards
Upon purchasing a new car I realized that the computer that controlled the radio, the temperature settings and the hands-free phone is very complicated. I wondered how the car manufacturers could get away with installing such a distracting feature within visual distance of the driver. Fiddling with all those new controls could cause an accident and someone could get seriously hurt.
When my cell phone rang I initially wanted to fumble through my purse to find it. Then I realized that all I needed to do was press a button on my steering wheel and say, “Hello.”
My husband and I attended a car computer class to learn the many available features. After almost a year of owning my new vehicle, I can proudly announce that I have mastered the computer in my car. Instead of my car telling me what to do, I can tell it what to do.
In my practice as a certified diabetes educator, I teach people how to make healthy changes to a diabetes lifestyle. Health care associations recommend that someone newly diagnosed with diabetes attend a minimum of 10 hours of diabetes education.
Just as I did not realize that my new car required training to operate the different features, many people facing diabetes do not realize that education is needed. Friends and relatives may not be the best information resources.
Teaching adults how to change to a diabetic lifestyle is more than just learning what not to eat. Those that expect a health professional to give them a diet sheet or a pamphlet to manage their diabetes are shortchanging themselves of valuable information.
The dashboard of my new car uses new techniques and technology to safely manage my driving experience. Diabetes self-management training presents more than a list of foods to avoid. The more that a person understands about the disease, the more stable blood sugars are maintained.
The number of people dealing with diabetes increases daily. Physicians refer patients to diabetes educators to obtain proper training to remain as healthy as possible. Part of my job is to call people to schedule them to attend diabetes training.
Last week a woman was prescribed diabetes training by her doctor. When I initially called she hung up on me after I explained who I was and the purpose of my call. I called the number back thinking that I had the wrong number. She did not answer the phone and before I could leave a message I was disconnected. I called one more time and the phone just went dead. Obviously, she was not interested in learning about diabetes.
If this woman had a new car with a computerized dashboard would she return to the car dealer to learn how it functions? Diabetes is far too serious to mess around with; proper training is required.
Most insurances cover diabetes education. Even if an insurance company does not cover the cost of diabetes education, get training from a certified diabetes educator as soon as possible. The money saved from costly complications makes it worthwhile. Get trained and reduce the risk of getting hurt.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330–684-4776.