Did you know it's American Diabetes Month? How appropriate I just spent two weeks in my outpatient diabetes rotation! My diabetes rotation was different every day and I loved it. At the end, I almost hid under the desk so I didn't have to leave. Completely viable since they keep juice and crackers on hand for hypoglycemia. Here are some of the things I did as an intern:
- One on one appointments: Patients brought in their food and blood sugar logs (well...they were supposed to). A Certified Diabetes Educator looked at blood sugar control and the correlation to what they ate. I loved this logical approach. Much like a Renal Dietitian, the resulting problems of what a patient consumed are seen through numbers and lab tests. It makes it easy to show patients why behavior change is important!
- Teaching classes: I got to teach the nutrition portion of a gestational diabetes class and sat in on a 'Living With Diabetes' class. From a nutrition standpoint, it's all about carb counting and keeping them consistent. Since carbs are what make blood sugar spike, it's important to keep them under a certain number, or at least use insulin coverage to account for them. Many people didn't know what foods contained carbohydrate! And by the way, it's NOT about a low carb diet.
- Insulin Pump Reports: Technology has helped people with diabetes immensely in the past few years! From Diabetes Apps, to insulin pumps that print out graphs, insulin logs, and schedules, CDEs are able to specialize patient care more than ever.
- Kidney Screening Fair: My preceptor Kathy (middle) is commonly known as 'Super Woman' because of everything she does to help the diabetes community. On Saturday, we drove to a DC area kidney screening event to volunteer as RDs. Because kidney disease and diabetes are so medically connected, it was important for our wellness outpatient clinic to be represented. But it was way better than 'making an appearance'. I saw over 20 patients for weight loss and high blood pressure counseling in 5 hours. I loved the questions people threw at me! If I could do health fairs as part of a living, I would.
- Free Clinic: Kathy also teaches a diabetes class....en espanol. High school spanish was finally useful.
- Checking my blood sugar: Meet my meter! Every day for a week, I pricked my finger and checked my blood sugar. You know my mantra-never ask your patients to do something you couldn't. Some people are terrible with consistently testing themselves, but after a week of punctures, I understood. Sometimes you can feel the test gnawing at you like it's another thing on your to do list. Plus, the strips are almost a dollar a piece! But with support from a CDE and family, this is a life saving thing you can do.
Next up...until mid December...staff relief at the hospital,