Congratulations on successfully completing the first steps towards taking charge of your diabetes. Based on your learning needs, your Endocrinologist has encouraged you to partner with a DCES (diabetes educator)
What is a DCES?
A key member of the diabetes care team, a Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (DCES) is a health professional who helps people with diabetes (PWDs) learn the best ways to take care of themselves and manage the day-to-day challenges of living with diabetes. Nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and therapists are amongst specialties that advance their skills to become a DCES. All diabetes educators are mandated to maintain their respective licensure on top of practicing as a DCES.
A person centered approach is the cornerstone of success with diabetes self care. A DCES shares the empathy of managing diabetes around the clock. Each person with diabetes responds very differently to factors that affect their health. One approach does not fit all. Partnering with a DCES, can help identify and prioritize personal diabetes self care goals to achieve optimal health. We work in sync with your Endocrinologist to kickstart projects.
Ways to partner with your DCES
- Build a strong support network you can count on when in need
- Find ways to cope well when living with diabetes
- Address diabetes distress/burnout - feeling overwhelmed with managing diabetes
- Manage blood glucose patterns by discussing your CGM data and logged events
- Learn to use food as medicine to improve meal time blood glucose
- Lifestyle changes are 2 words that can expand into many small, yet powerful goals to shift blood glucose patterns. Learn the effect of each on diabetes management. Learn to:
- Weight and Diabetes Management- Learn how to sync goals that work for both
- Understand your diabetes medications
- Within their scope of practice, work with a DCES to adjust diabetes medications
- Find best ways to take medications regularly.
- Learn about managing insulin needs
- Adjust background and meal time insulin needs based on your blood glucose patterns
- Blood glucose trending too high or too low? Problem solve to move closer towards your safe range.
- Learn how to treat High and Low blood glucose levels
- Address psychosocial issues and feel supported in mental health needs
- Diabetes and Technology
- Address Diabetes and Co morbidities
- Reduce complications by monitoring Heart Health, Kidney Health, Eye Health, Nerve Health and Sexual Health
A DCES can also assist with challenges and questions that arise outside of normal care such as:
- Resources for affordable medication and insulin
- Diabetes self care and daily challenges such as work schedules, financial constraints, meal planning
- Participating in ongoing research
Some take their specialization further and are insulin pump educators as well, with a chosen primary focus on helping with the set-up and use of insulin pumps.
There might be questions which are beyond the above points. Come with your questions and partner with a DCES to feel empowered, encouraged and knowledgeable to live well with diabetes.