Reflective accounts

Reflective account: Diabetes

A CPD article improved Heather Lovitt’s knowledge of diabetes
finger prick

A CPD article improved Heather Lovitts knowledge of diabetes

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The CPD article provided an overview of diabetes. It outlined the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and included information about the diagnosis, causes and treatment of the condition.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The prevalence of diabetes is growing rapidly, with the greatest increase expected in those aged over 60 years.

The article discussed the pathophysiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I had previously understood that type 1 diabetes occurred because the pancreas did not produce enough insulin; however, the article stated that it is

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A CPD article improved Heather Lovitt’s knowledge of diabetes


A patient is shown how to perform a finger prick test  Photo: Alamy

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The CPD article provided an overview of diabetes. It outlined the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and included information about the diagnosis, causes and treatment of the condition.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The prevalence of diabetes is growing rapidly, with the greatest increase expected in those aged over 60 years.

The article discussed the pathophysiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I had previously understood that type 1 diabetes occurred because the pancreas did not produce enough insulin; however, the article stated that it is caused by an autoimmune assault on the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. This commonly occurs in childhood, although it is unclear what triggers it.

Type 2 diabetes occurs as a result of insulin resistance, in which insulin production increases initially, but subsequently decreases as a result of beta cell failure. The development of type 2 diabetes is associated with obesity.

The article included time out activities, which encouraged me to speak to someone with diabetes about their condition. I found out valuable information from this, because the person I spoke to described their symptoms, which included thirst, night cramps, double vision and exhaustion.

How did you change or improve your practice?

Having read the article, I will research other conditions related to diabetes, such as pre-diabetes and type 1.5 diabetes, or latent autoimmune diabetes of adults, to enable me to provide better care for patients. Reading the article has enhanced my knowledge of diabetes, which has improved my confidence in caring for patients with this condition.

I have gained understanding of the tests used to diagnose diabetes, such as the glycated haemoglobin blood test, which can be used to estimate the level of control of the patient’s blood glucose levels. This will help me to encourage patients to manage their condition.

I have contacted a specialist diabetes nurse to ask questions about the condition. I also intend to educate patients about the importance of following a healthy lifestyle to avoid developing the condition.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

This article is relevant to the theme of prioritising people. Working with the diabetes specialist nurse has improved my knowledge of diabetes, which has enabled me to empower patients to make decisions about their treatment. It has helped me to act in patients’ best interests, while respecting their decisions.

The Code emphasises the importance of practising effectively, which involves communicating clearly. Having read the article, I am now able to communicate confidently to provide education for patients with diabetes. I can communicate with the specialist nurse and ask for advice if a patient’s condition is being managed suboptimally.

Each individual may have different signs to indicate that they are hyperglycaemic or hypoglycaemic. Using the knowledge I have gained from reading this article and speaking to patients with diabetes, I can accurately assess the individual’s needs and advise appropriate treatment. This enables me to preserve the safety of patients.

Heather Lovitt is a nurse in Peterborough


This reflective account is based on NS852 Mayo P (2016) An overview of diabetes. Nursing Standard. 30, 46, 53-60. These questions are the same as those on the NMC templates that UK nurses and midwives must use for revalidation.

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Complete the four questions about the CPD article you have just read, writing about 800 words in total. Find out how to submit your reflective account 

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