There are no established easy solutions to mitigate COVID-19. While the world is battling the pandemic together, the graveness of the situation is felt more in countries that simultaneously have a high burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to tackle.
Why is there a need for Diabetes Nurse in COVID times?
Reports have revealed that people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and kidney problems are more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the COVID-19 virus. And India, known as the diabetes capital of the world, has one in six people with diabetes. With an estimated 77 million diabetics, the ninth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas projected that India would continue to be at the second spot among the top 10 countries with diabetes till 2045.
As the alarming statistics of people with diabetes continue to rise across the country and the world, the role of diabetes nurses and healthcare professionals (who account for over half of the global health workforce) has become increasingly important in managing the impact of the disease.
How does a Diabetes Nurse manage this situation?
Adherence to insulin and correct injection technique plays a vital role when it comes to managing diabetes. The role of the diabetes nurse in India is performed by the diabetes educator, whose background is usually nutrition. The nurse’s role in insulin administration and managing hypoglycemia is largely in the hospitalized patient, where it is very important too. Hence, the ward nurses require training on all aspects of insulin storage and administration technique. OPD is usually taken care of by diabetes educators/nutritionists. This can be achieved by taking the related academic programs for nurses. Astron Institutes Diabetes Educator Diploma and Certificate Program certifies you with such qualification.
Awareness and Proper Knowledge is the Key
Governments and the healthcare industry must recognize the importance of investing in educating and training frontline workers who can make a huge difference in the lives of people with diabetes. Besides counseling patients with diabetes, nurses and diabetes educators can also guide them about the complications associated with incorrect injection techniques, reuse of needles, and wrong insulin usage and storage. Therefore, there is a need to acknowledge how trained nurses, as well as diabetes educators, make a difference in managing diabetes.
Patients must be made aware about
- Correct injection practices
- Proper injecting guidance, insulin usage and storage.
- Ensure that you do not use expired insulin as that may no longer be sterile and will likely not provide the expected outcome.
- Not reusing insulin pens and syringe needles that are intended for single use only.
Managing Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Adherence to accurate medication is a major factor in determining treatment outcomes for people living with diabetes. At a time when the world is already grappling with COVID-19, patients with diabetes on insulin need to be all the more careful about managing their condition optimally. There is a need to educate patients and their families about the disadvantages related to inappropriate insulin injecting practices and to push patients to consult diabetes educators in case of any complications.