Reflective accounts

Self-management of diabetes

A CPD article improved Linda Miller’s knowledge of improving self-management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Woman self-administers pin prick test

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

The article provided an insight into some of the challenges associated with self-management of diabetes, and discussed strategies that can be used to improve patient outcomes.

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

The article stated that people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are usually expected to manage their own condition, and it discussed ways healthcare professionals can advise and support these patients.

I learned that healthcare professionals should recognise self-management of diabetes can be complex, and it is important to work collaboratively with patients. The article emphasised that patients individual choices should be listened to and respected.

Management of diabetes generally

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Blood glucose monitoring is key to diabetes self-management  Photo: iStock

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

The article provided an insight into some of the challenges associated with self-management of diabetes, and discussed strategies that can be used
to improve patient outcomes.

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

The article stated that people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are usually expected to manage their own condition, and it discussed ways healthcare professionals can advise and support these patients.

I learned that healthcare professionals should recognise self-management of diabetes can be complex, and it is important to work collaboratively with patients. The article emphasised that patients’ individual choices should be listened to and respected.

Management of diabetes generally includes the need to monitor blood glucose levels, food intake, medication and physical activity. I have learned that healthcare professionals should be aware that a lack of understanding of the condition, complex treatment regimens, stress and anxiety can complicate the management of diabetes. Effective communication is essential to encourage effective self-care.

How did you change or improve your practice?

I plan to ensure patients with diabetes understand their blood glucose readings, so that adjustments can be made to their treatment.

I will provide patients with information about how to avoid hypoglycaemia, because if left untreated, it can result in delirium, coma and death. I plan to inform patients of the importance of regular blood glucose monitoring, setting realistic blood targets, and carrying medical identification in case of emergency.

Sufficient information about diabetes and its management should be given to the patient. I will ensure I work closely with patients to help them understand their regimen, and document the nursing care provided to maintain continuity of care. ‘Information overload’ can be a problem for some patients, so I will check their understanding of information and ask if they have any questions.

I am aware some patients might require additional support and alternative educational approaches, and will refer them to specialist services, such as the dietitian, if appropriate.

The article raised my awareness of demotivating language, for example ‘poor’ glycaemic control or labelling someone as ‘non-compliant’. Rather than attaching blame, a non-judgemental and supportive approach should be used. Patients should be encouraged to gain control of their condition and become actively involved in decisions.

How is this relevant to the Code?

Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

One of the themes of The Code is to prioritise people, which involves recognising and respecting the contribution people can make to their health and wellbeing. This article discussed how to involve patients in their care and support them in managing their diabetes. It emphasised the importance of using a holistic approach during the assessment and treatment.

Another theme of The Code is to practise effectively. The article discussed the importance of health-literacy skills and the use of appropriate language, which relates to the standard that nurses must ‘communicate clearly’.


Linda Miller is a staff nurse at St Mary’s Hospital, Newport, Isle of Wight

This reflective account is based on NS825 Phillips A (2016) Improving self-management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Nursing Standard. 30, 19, 52-58

These questions are the same as those on the NMC templates that UK nurses and midwives must use for revalidation

Write your own reflective account

You can gain a certificate of learning by reading a Nursing Standard CPD article and writing a reflective account. To write a reflective account for Nursing Standard, use the NMC reflective accounts form 

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

 

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