Diabetes management: optimizing roles for nurses in insulin initiation
Bridget R Levich
University of California Davis Health System, Sacramento, CA, USA
Abstract: Type 2 diabetes is a major public health concern. Screening and early diagnosis followed by prompt and aggressive treatment interventions can help control progression of diabetes and its complications. Nurses are often the first healthcare team members to interact with patients and are being called on to apply their specialized knowledge, training, and skills to educate and motivate patients with diabetes about insulin use and practical ways to achieve treatment goals. Clinical nurse specialists possess specific training and skills to provide this level of care, while staff or office-based nurses may be trained by physicians to fulfill a task-specific role. This manuscript reviews the benefits of intensive glycemic control in type 2 diabetes, therapeutic goals and guidelines, advances in insulin therapy, and contribution of nurses in overcoming barriers to insulin initiation and related aspects of diabetes care. Nurses are particularly well positioned to fill the gap and improve efficiency in diabetes-related healthcare by assisting patients with insulin initiation and other aspects of glycemic self-management.
Keywords: insulin, diabetes, diabetes educator, hypoglycemia, diabetes counseling, insulin clinic, insulin pens
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