Within the Diabetes Education Service, diabetes representatives and volunteers combined with the 2.5 Diabetes Clinical Nurse Consultants (DCNCs) and other team members provide patient care. The increasing use of diabetes technology required novel approaches to overcome limited time available to DCNCs in the diabetes outpatient clinics.
The aim was to explore a diabetes technology opportunity.
A proposal and a position description were presented to the Clinical Services Unit Director with a request to appropriate unused funds. A Division 2 RN was employed as the Diabetes Technology Nurse (DTN) to work in selected clinics. Education and training was provided by the DCNC’S and company representatives. Data was collected and collated.
In August 2013, the DTN was employed for a 12 month trial period to attend 3 clinics per month, the Young Adults Diabetes Service (YADS), Paediatric Diabetes (PAED DM) and Insulin Pump service. During a 3 month period, of the 74 (100%) patients who arrived at these clinics 66 (89.1%) saw the DTN who downloaded 14 pumps, 38 meters and 10 combinations. The DTN enters the results into electronic hospital records, ensuring its immediate availability to the treating team. The DTN has become more interested in diabetes, completed the Nurses 2 Day Diabetes Program and become increasingly confident with managing the necessary software and equipment. Patients are attended to more efficiently, the team have commented positively about this innovation, requesting the DTN attend other diabetes clinics. Checking target settings and correct entry of data is essential. The patient self completed pump form remains useful to both patient and team to confirm knowledge of pump settings.
This innovative short term project in the hospital outpatient clinics has demonstrated efficiencies in time, data entry, happier patients and staff and led to a submission for the DTN position to become permanent.