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A diabetes educator is a person who can be helped by people suffering from diabetes. It is a disease that, if not treated properly, leads to serious complications. To avoid them, medical care is not enough. Patients and their families need to be educated on how to deal with the disease in everyday life, because they are also responsible for the effects of therapy. Check what exactly a diabetes educator does and who can become one.

Diabetes educatoris a person who can be assisted by people with diabetes.Diabetesis a disease that currently affects 3 million people in Poland. However, 1 million of them are unaware of the disease and live without being diagnosed.

A undiagnosed or poorly treated diabetes can lead to numerous complications, such as eye damage (15 million blind people have lost their eyesight as a result of diabetes complications), cardiovascular disease, damage to peripheral nerves, kidneys, and diabetic foot syndrome (annually performs 13 thousand amputations because of this) or a stroke.

An extremely dangerous acute complication of diabetes is hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose), which can even lead to coma.

Every 6 seconds someone dies of complications from diabetes

Annually there are 220 thousand. episodes of hypoglycemia. In order to prevent complications, not only regular medical visits are needed.

Patients and their families need to be educated on how to deal with the disease in everyday life, because they are also co-responsible for the effects of therapy - said prof. Maciej T. Małecki, president of the Polish Diabetes Society. - Education is an integral part of diabetes treatment - emphasized the specialist.

Diabetes educator (in diabetes) - who can become one?

Who can become a diabetes educator is described in detail in the Ordinance of the Minister of He alth of July 20, 2011 on the qualifications required from employees for particular types of jobs in non-entrepreneurs.

It all depends on basic education and experience in working with people suffering from diabetes.

A person who holds a master's degree in nursing and a specialist degree in the fieldDiabetes Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Diabetes Nursing and Diabetes Nursing Specialist can become a diabetes educator if he or she has a 2-year internship.

What about nurses or midwives who are not specialist in diabetes nursing? They must finish the so-called a three-month specialist diabetes educator course.

Additionally, after completing it, they must gain experience in a center with a diabetes profile. Only then can they start working as an educator.

For people with a master's degree, the required internship in the center lasts one year, for people with a bachelor's or secondary education - 2 years.

You can also become a diabetes educator without medical education. In such a case, you must complete a 5-year work experience in a center with a diabetes profile and complete your qualifications. The best solution here is to complete a 6-year diabetes nursing qualification course.

Worth knowing

Diabetes educator and social diabetes educator are not the same

A diabetology educator is a nurse or midwife who has done a diabetes specialization for two years, or an experienced person who has been working in a diabetes center for many years. In turn, a social educator is a person who completed a short, several-day course.

Diabetes educator (in diabetes) will be at the National He alth Fund

Currently, there are 1,882 diabetes educators in Poland (data as of the end of 2014), 280 of which meet all the requirements allowing them to act as a diabetes educator.

As explained by Beata Stepanow - president of the Diabetes Education Association -diabetes educatorsis a group of professionals who are prepared to educate not only in the field of nutrition and elements of motivation for physical activity .Diabetes educatorscan also teach a person with diabetes and their family how to deal with the disease in everyday life.

Worth knowing

In Poland, modern long-acting and short-acting insulins and insulin pumps are reimbursed by the National He alth Fund. Unfortunately, incretin drugs are not reimbursed in the treatment of diabetes by the National He alth Fund. In this respect, we are the only country in Europe.

The knowledge provided by diabetes educators is as important as prescribing appropriate medications by a doctor.

It is thanks to the proper knowledge about diabetes that the patient is able to avoid serious complications.

When the number of diabetic complications is reduced,the number of hospital stays as well as pensions due to incapacity for work and disability (diabetes is among the top 10 causes of disability in people all over the world) will decrease.

Diabetes is a disease that requires interdisciplinary care, says Beata Stepanow

Currently, converted into PLN, diabetes costs the Polish society about PLN 7 billion a year, of which the direct costs of complications are almost PLN 2.1 billion, and the indirect costs - almost PLN 1.5 billion.

However, currently diabetes educational advice is not reimbursed by the National He alth Fund. This is about to change in the future.

As Lidia Gądek (PO), chairman of the parliamentary team for primary he alth care and prevention, assures, after the evaluation of this service is presented by the Agency for He alth Technology Assessment and Tariffication, separate diabetes education offices, independent of a medical visit, will start operating.

Worth knowing

There is no diabetes care system in Poland in the case of type 2 diabetes. We can only talk about some residual models. Specialists want to change that. Here is a list of recommendations for Poland that give you a chance to improve diabetes care:

  • improving the lifestyle of the population
  • reporting on the scope of procedures, such as regular control visits
  • increasing the number of patients undergoing annual checkups
  • creating a national register of test strips and insulin pumps
  • introducing unified patient education

Report "Educational needs and recommendations in diabetology" of the Diabetes Education Association

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