Monday, January 10, 2011


Good Morning!  The other day, while in the middle of one of my bedside teaching spiels, my patient asked, "Well, how does the doctor know how to treat my diabetes?  Where does he get his information from?"

I was a little taken aback at first, because doctors spend years in medical school for one, but after I gave the matter some deep thought, the patient was right to ask.  You shouldn't automatically think that every doctor out there knows everything there is to know on any subject.  I mean, diabetes management and research changes all the time.  There are always new medications and gadgets out there to help monitor and control blood sugars. 

So, how do doctors and nurses know what to do?  Well, here is something that you probably don't know.  Your medical team is constantly bombarded with continuing education all the time.  We have certifications and licenses that must be maintained.  If you work in an acute care setting (ie, a hospital), then the hospital has standards of care based on the latest and greatest evidenced based practice that are followed.

There are medical journals such as JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) that showcase research articles on all kinds of practices, medications, technological tools that are available to medical practitioners.

There are organizations for just about every part of the health care team where you can attend meetings, conferences, workshops...gather the CEU's (continuing education credits) needed to maintain and update certifications and licenses. 

Drug companies send drug reps out to hospitals and doctor's offices with first hand information on the products they have to control blood sugars.  Often, inservices are performed for the medical team members so we can learn and ask questions about how stuff works.  We love when they come because they usually bring food--or CHOCOLATE!!  Okay, okay...SSssshhhhh....I know they are supposed to be in the business of controlling blood sugars--not raising them--but we do love it when the drug reps come to spoil us.  Especially if we are in the middle of a stressful shift!

So, all in all, I'd say with all the information out there available for professionals and laymen, I think it is pretty safe to say that you and your diabetes are in great hands!  But always, ask questions!  There is no such thing as a dumb one, and if we don't know the answer, we will definitely find it for you!

Enjoy your Monday!

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