Nurses change lives for people living with diabetes
Thursday, 12 November 2020
Nurses are the silent heroes for many people living with diabetes, Diabetes Queensland CEO Sturt Eastwood said to mark World Diabetes Day.
“Although diabetes is often not the primary cause of hospitalisation, once people living with diabetes are in hospital they need good transitional care and priority given to their diabetes,” Mr Eastwood said.
“Nurses can make the difference between letting diabetes control you or living a long and healthy life with the condition.”
Mr Eastwood asked the 260,000 Queenslanders living with diabetes to take a minute this World Diabetes Day on Nov 14 and think about the difference nurses make to their care.
“Around Australia today there are people with diabetes being cared for by nurses, whether through helping people understand their diabetes and how to manage it, or caring for them if they end up in hospital.”
Mr Eastwood made special mention of the many nurses who study post graduate diabetes qualifications to become Credentialled Diabetes Educators.
“The combination of those disciplines gives people access to highly trained medical professionals who know a lot about diabetes specifically.”
One such professional is Diabetes Queensland’s Nicole McClure, a Registered Nurse and Credentialled Diabetes Educator who also attained other post graduate qualifications in paediatrics and diabetes education and management.
“I’ve noticed over the years that when people with diabetes receive the support and education they need, the quality of their health and wellbeing dramatically improves,” Nicole said.
“I could see that knowledge alone didn’t always make a difference, but collaborative, supportive care and a health coaching approach does. It takes time and a change to traditional approaches to care. I was passionate about making this happen and that got me hooked on a path to specialise in diabetes care.”
Western Qld PHN visiting CDE program
Nicole is currently one of the Diabetes Queensland nurses and CDEs who has recommenced regular flights to regional Queensland towns as part of the Western Queensland Visiting CDE Program. The program’s face-to-face visits were paused but services continued through telehealth during COVID-19 isolation.
This service, supported by the Federal Government’s Western Queensland Primary Health Network and CheckUP, is designed to bring the latest care and information to people living in a region identified as having high rates of diabetes compared to the national average.
There are 4,360 people living with diabetes in the Western Queensland PHN or 6.5% of the population, compared with 5.3% of all Australians or about 1.37 million people.
“Telehealth is an important service but I can see the difference face-to-face conversations make to many of my clients,” Nicole said.
“Working closely with people, learning about them and what means the most to them and their families, then helping them achieve their goals is the most rewarding part of my job.
“Building those relationships that can make a positive impact on people and their quality of life is a big privilege for me.”
The right health care team
Nicole’s most important advice for people living with diabetes, whether they’re in the Far West or Brisbane, is to find the right health care team.
“The right support when you need it is important. ‘Try out’ different health professionals and find a team that you can work well with. Don’t be too hard on yourself either” she said.
“If you’re not happy, talk to your health providers, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always feel free to call us at Diabetes Queensland.”
If you would like to speak to a Diabetes Queensland Health Professional, please ring 1800 177 055.
Media: Monica Rostron 0409 126 332
About Diabetes Queensland
From humble beginnings more than 50 years ago, Diabetes Queensland has grown to be the only charity in Queensland that cares for people with all types of diabetes or at risk of the condition. Our priority is their health and well-being, enabling them to live their lives well through positive support and education, every step of the way. As well as helping to prevent diabetes, its complications and improve people’s lives on a day-to-day basis, we support crucial research into finding better treatments and a cure for diabetes.