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Ask The Expert: Why Should I Go to Diabetes Education?

March 11, 2019

Ashley Colnett, Newton Medical Center diabetes educator

Ashley Colnett, RN, CDE is a Certified Diabetes Educator with the Diabetes Center at Atlantic Health System’s Newton Medical Center.

Why should I go to diabetes education?

As a diabetes educator, this is a question we hear a lot. The value of knowledge and education is often overlooked and undervalued. While Google seems to give us plenty of information, how do we know that what we’re reading is valid or legitimate? With something as important as our health, do we want to risk that the information we’re seeing is wrong?

When visiting the doctor, there is not enough time for patients to get all the information they need to effectively manage their disease. There’s just too much to talk about! That’s where diabetes education comes in! At diabetes education centers, patients receive education from CDEs (Certified Diabetes Educators). These are Healthcare Professionals (nurses, dietitians, social workers, case managers, etc.) that have advanced certification in this specialty. They’re considered experts in their field. They provide 1:1 attention and education that is for the patient’s specific needs. It’s important to know that diabetes is not one size fits all! And diabetes educators are prepared to provide you with education and guidance that fits for your life.

Patients are the drivers of this vehicle, and we as educators, are their pit crew. We help to guide and support them and provide them with the tools they need to successfully navigate the diabetes highway of life. We want them to feel empowered in their everyday decisions and management, so they succeed! We’re your constant cheerleaders and coaches all in one! Not sold yet? Let’s talk statistics:

  • Research shows that patients who receive diabetes education have overall better health outcomes. What exactly does that mean? They have lower A1c’s, improved blood sugars, more weight loss, better knowledge of nutrition, and less rates of diabetes related complications. Don’t those sound like wonderful things?
  • Also, consider this - the field of diabetes is constantly changing! There are new medications and research coming out all the time, and diabetes educators are keeping on top of all of it, so they can deliver the best advice and care to their patients.
  • If you are only seeing your doctor once every several months, where do you go in between with questions about your blood sugars, about the new medicine you saw on TV, for nutrition tips, or when you need advice? As you can already guess, the answer is: diabetes education.

We know the power of education and what it can do to change patient’s lives. It’s music to our ears to hear patients say they learned something they never knew before or they now feel like they can “do this”. As the old adage goes, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

To arrange for diabetes education at Newton Medical Center, you can call The Diabetes Center, at 973-579-8341