Jane K. Dickinson, who is a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator, and has lived with type 1 diabetes for 37 years, shares three things she has learned from the people with diabetes she works with:
1. Every person with diabetes is unique. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, budgets, and the need to be as efficient as possible, health care has become very standardized, which can lessen the ability to offer more individualized care:
”In my diabetes education practice, I’m very fortunate to have 60 minutes to meet with each patient — which is a lot compared to what some health care providers have."
2. There are common threads for everyone with diabetes. People clearly benefit from being part of a community. There is a fine line, she says, between keeping within the structure of the standardized system and making sure the patients gets specifically what they need and want in their appointment:
”Gradually, I see my patients getting more active online. Locally, I don’t see people getting involved in diabetes-related groups, but I am noticing patients finding support and encouragement from other people with diabetes in online communities."
3. It’s not about me! Jane’s strongest focus when communicating with her patients is to inform, motivate and support them, rather than lecture or tell them what to do:
”I’ve heard health care professionals say, ‘I got my patient to do this,’ and ‘I got my patient to do that.’ It’s not about me or your physician, and what I ‘convinced’ you to do as my patient. It’s about what they do in their life. I’m here to facilitate my patients’ progress, and educate them. I am not trying to convince or force or sway someone to do something.”
Via C8 MediSensors UK