(NC) In Ontario, 10 per cent of the population suffers from diabetes. If you are one of these people, it’s good to know that a network of registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are there to help care for you and help you maintain your health.
A segment of Ontario’s RNs and NPs have specialized training to help you prevent or manage diabetes. If your blood sugar range suggests that you may have prediabetes, your physician or nurse practitioner may refer you to a clinic where these skilled and highly educated nurses can provide education, help you review your diet, manage threats to your health stemming from diabetes, and even – in the case of NPs – manage, treat and prescribe medications to control your blood sugar.
Many patients find out they are diabetic during a routine physical, or when they tell their care provider of some symptoms of the disease. These include frequent urination or excessive thirst. Nurses explain that diabetes can occur at any age and a family history of the disease, diet and a sedentary lifestyle put patients at risk. They add that with proper intervention, some pre-diabetic patients can make the changes needed to avoid a diabetes diagnosis.
Control of blood sugar levels is vital, says one NP with the Ontario Nurses’ Association. “The complications of uncontrolled diabetes can affect major organs of the body, such as the kidneys. It can also affect the circulatory system, and ultimately result in an amputation,” she explains. RNs also specialize in foot care for diabetics, helping their patients to avoid infections that can lead to this being necessary.
Nurses specializing in diabetes care can be found across Ontario, and their skills and care are the reason why some say an RN is invaluable in any health-care setting.
More information is available at www.ona.org/RNs.