Diabetes management necessitates a collaborative effort on the individual and the clinician. The diabetes patient clinician’s role is to educate the patient about the disease and how to control it. Nevertheless, education only may not result in desired behavior and lifestyle changes. Essentially, treating chronic illnesses such as diabetes requires optimal patient involvement in their care. This essay reports on an interview conducted between a diabetic patient called Joel and a nurse educator. Joel is my uncle and was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The paper’s goal is to outline how clinicians can use their nursing skills and role as patient educators and advocates to assist individuals with type 2 diabetes in better managing the disease.
Adequately Assessing the Patient’s Needs
Managing and coping with illness upon diagnosis is usually challenging for many patients. The National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) are intended to deliver a benchmark for high-quality diabetes self-management education and help diabetes instructors in a range of contexts provide evidence-based learning (Centre for Disease Control, 2021). To achieve this, DSMES requires clinicians to undertake a complete and structured evaluation of the patient’s condition and disease status, preferred way of learning, and desire to enhance their skills and adjust their behavior (CDC, 2021). Such an assessment must also account for the patient’s psychological state, and thus the clinician can develop a comprehensive report about the patient’s personal and medical history. In this way, the educator will address all of the patient’s needs without ignoring others.
Joel’s recent diagnosis with type 2 diabetes took a toll on his health and ability to cope functionally. Acting as a nurse educator, I interviewed Joel according to the above national standards. To begin, I requested him to describe his medical history, particularly his current treatment regimen. I also asked him to narrate his family history regarding diabetes and illnesses in general. Finally, Joel described his general physiological status and coping mechanism since receiving the terrible news. Based on his responses, I determined that he was 76 years old apart from being white, and that type 2 diabetes was a common problem in his family history. Joel has a son and daughter who are 42 and 51 years old, respectively, and diabetic. However, unlike Joel, they received their diagnosis more than one year ago and managed the disease well.
Joel’s wife is healthy but has been distressed lately because of his condition. Joel reported that she has been complaining about a lack of support and limited finances to assist her sick family in satisfactorily managing diabetes. Moreover, Joel’s medical history also reveals that he has childhood asthma and hypertension despite not being under medication currently. A comprehensive assessment of the patient’s physical, functional, and social status enables the clinician to construct an educated and individualized treatment plan. More significantly, clarifying these issues to Joel and connecting them to type 2 diabetes is critical for equipping him with the information necessary to manage the illness independently.
Enabling Factors and Obstacles to Patient Participation
Many diabetes self-management enabling factors abound, and patients should be educated on how to benefit from them. These include positive social support in the form of assistance and comfort from family, acquaintances with diabetes, or those familiar with its treatment (Siopis et al., 2021). Based on my assessment, Joel’s close family might provide appropriate emotional and social support. They include his wife, daughter, and son, who have personal experience with type 2 diabetes. In addition, they can equip Joel with the information and skills necessary to handle the disease while. Joel’s wife will play a significant role in providing social assistance as they live together presently.
Good communication between the caregiver and the patient promotes efficient diabetes self-management decision-making. This is built on compassion, honesty, and mutual decision-making in the creation of treatment goals (Standing, 2020). After examining Joel, I realized that I was in charge of building an atmosphere that would enable him to contribute to the attainment of all self-care objectives. Conversely, factors that act as obstacles to self-management of diabetes regimen occasion non-adherence with physician guidelines. When interviewing Joel, these were recognized as distress following illness diagnosis, difficulties adjusting to lifestyle modifications, and financial limitations, hindering him from receiving diabetic medical care and following the prescribed dietary change. Therefore, I explained to Joel that I intended to assist him in reducing his stress and learning how to manage diabetes.
Patients’ lack of information about proper lifestyle modification measures, such as a nutrition plan, may also be responsible for impeding self-care. Joel showed this lack of awareness during the whole evaluation process. That aside, he also exhibited an apparent lack of conviction regarding the cultural appropriateness of pharmacological interventions. I was, thus, concerned that he may opt to utilize purely traditional methods of managing diabetes. I sought to impart information to challenge such erroneous personal beliefs.
Service Delivery and Engagement Strategies
After completing the assessment, I determined that instructing Joel using strategies designed to foster self-efficacy and person-centered treatment would be more productive. I first urged him to include his family in his treatment, as evidence indicates decreased disagreement and enhanced cohesiveness promote positive outcomes (Gallan et al., 2019). My objective was to assist him in developing good behavior that inspires everyone in his circle to take an active role in his treatment. For example, while developing individual aims for diabetic self-management, I urged him to talk with his wife, daughter, and son. Through their input, Joel could establish goals to be fulfilled regarding lifestyle change recommendations or develop an appropriate schedule to comply with the therapeutic routine. Because Joel’s close family was aware of diabetes, I feel that their contribution would give him a significant understanding of the condition and coping strategies.
Additionally, I advised Joel to embrace lifestyle adjustments to aid in managing contaminant-related illnesses such as hypertension. Joel reported that he did not have weight concerns on the positive side. Thus, I recommended desisting from cigarettes and drinking, limiting his sodium and caffeine consumption, boosting his physical activity, and managing his anxiety. I advised him to schedule at least four hours of running per week. Such exercise would ensure that he remains physically fit and active. I also expressed my commitment to assisting Joel in utilizing diverse health-related digital technology, such as diabetes mobile apps. These tools can assist him in monitoring his insulin levels, setting alerts for his medication regimen, and reducing the need for expensive medical consultations. This is possible because some of these apps allow direct communication between physicians and patients (Baldwin et al., 2017). I consistently motivated him to wear a fitness band to frequently monitor and document his development. I informed Joel that I would utilize this data to make necessary therapy adjustments. However, I assured him that I would protect and keep his data private in line with nursing regulations.
Furthermore, because abilities and self-efficacy are recognized as necessary components of personal care, I found it crucial to help Joel improve in these domains. Thus, I guided him throughout this exercise by introducing him to different aspects of type 2 diabetes. I introduced him to subjects such as the origins of the disease, the difficulties it is associated with, the contribution of proper treatments, and healthy behaviors to his rehabilitation. I also emphasized maintaining correspondence with the caregiver to strengthen post-treatment interventions.
More cooperation among different healthcare specialists from the community, state, and federal levels is required to achieve the aforementioned health objectives. This process is referred to as interprofessional collaboration. For example, Joel’s case may entail incorporating experts, especially nutritionists, diabetes educators, and certified caregivers, into in-patient and out-patient care settings. Such collaboration will assist persons like Joel in regaining their health as they will have access to professional support and care. It would also involve linking Joel’s wife to relevant social and community support systems and services to alleviate her current care burden.
Successful interprofessional collaboration will also depend on good leadership. Transformational leadership is a type of management whereby executives are thoughtful of their team members, offering opportunities for them to grow and change (Boamah et al., 2018). This gives the potential for creativity and enhanced efficiency as personnel is inspired to be accountable for a job. In an interprofessional setting, various experts might consult and share knowledge, thus generating innovative care. Transformational leaders should motivate the team to strive toward a common objective by inspiring them to embrace a common vision. They should also model desired behaviors that they want team members and even patients to follow.
I, consequently, feel that the direction of diabetes treatment is based on increased cooperation between medical practitioners, particularly doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and counselors. To improve evidence-based practice, healthcare practitioners must participate in continual research and information sharing regarding type 2 diabetes. Diabetes type 2 patients may benefit from instructional reinforcement, like person-centered treatments and technology-based teaching, to increase their capacity to control the condition. If the diabetes instructor and other care providers are more involved in providing treatment, these strategies can be more effective.
Baldwin, J. L., Singh, H., Sittig, D. F., & Giardina, T. D. (2017). Patient portals and health apps: Pitfalls, promises, and what one might learn from the other. Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 5(3), 81–85. Web.
Boamah, S. A., Laschinger, H. K. S., Wong, C., & Clarke, S. (2018). Effect of transformational leadership on job satisfaction and patient safety outcomes. Nursing Outlook, 66(2), 180-189. Web.
Centre for Disease Control (2021). Living with diabetes: Education and support. CDC. Web.
Gallan, A. S., McColl-Kennedy, J. R., Barakshina, T., Figueiredo, B., Jefferies, J. G., Gollnhofer, J., Hibbert, S., Luca, N., Roy, S., Spanjol, J., & Winklhofer, H. (2019). Transforming community well-being through patients’ lived experiences. Journal of Business Research, 100, 376-391. Web.
Siopis, G., Colagiuri, S., & Allman-Farinelli, M. (2021). People with type 2 diabetes report dietitians, social support, and health literacy facilitate their dietary change. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 53(1), 43–53. Web.
Standing, M. (2020). Clinical judgement and decision making in nursing. Sage.