August 7, 2012

Why Do CDEs Not Have Sleep Apnea Training?

After asking several certified diabetes educators (CDEs) whether they have training for sleep apnea, I have to ask why they are so secretive about their training. Even my CDE relative would only answer that her practice has sent them to some training. Of five others I asked this question of, only one would say that she has some training because the practice she worked for sent her to a couple of classes.

Why are CDEs so secretive about their training? It would seem to be something they should be proud to discuss for people to understand why they display the acronym behind their names; and limit the profession by making it difficult for people to gain access to the title. Registered nurses, physician assistants, doctors, and pharmacists are not that secretive and will generally answer questions about their continuing education and even their education.

This begs another question, is the training so poor that they do not want to acknowledge what they do know and that they take classes and webinars solely to be able to check the boxes for recertification? Are they getting anything from these classes or webinars that is useful? I have tried on more than one occasion to ask questions of CDEs, but I seldom get a straight answer. Is this part of their training not to answer questions about their training? Or, is it that they are ashamed of their continuing education.

Those that are willing to talk divert the questions to their core training. Nurses will talk about their education; pharmacists will talk about their education; but try to get information about the CDE training is like talking to the proverbial brick wall. Even my relative will not answer certain questions although she will for some after she is sure I will not use her response in a blog. I asked her if I am asking the wrong questions, and she did say I was asking the right questions and that I was being polite in the way I asked most questions.

She did comment that sometimes my writing was a little blunt, but occasionally she could understand the reason behind it and the need for showing my frustration. I did tell her to read this blog, as I am very frustrated that the current AADE head is apparently alone in her ivory tower and those that answer to her are painting a picture that is not representative of what is going on in the trenches.

It is difficult to make changes when you are not given the truth or a true picture of what is happening at the lower levels. The blog I wrote back on October 6, 2011 is still as applicable today, if not more important. In the last paragraph, I made mention of a few thousand CDEs that needed our support, but in what has happened recently, maybe I should change that to a few hundreds.

Now do not misunderstand, I do not see the need for CDEs to be experts in sleep medicine. They should learn to ask the right questions about sleep and recognize the symptoms of sleep apnea. Then they should recommend to the doctor that he/she investigate further and possibly refer the patient to a sleep specialist. Because many of the people with type 2 diabetes (above 40 percent for combined men and women) have sleep apnea, this should be necessary in CDE training.

Since I am not able to say with any certainty that they have training about sleep apnea or are required to have training, this is the reason for wording the title the way I did.

Now that I have had my say, I will turn this around and say I was pleasantly surprised when I sent an email to the AACE education division. I received a prompt reply with a lot of information to research and get my head around. I was supplied with information about a sleep apnea resource for CDEs. Since I do not have a copy of the book, I will copy the description from the AADE site.

Many resources address major complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney disease. Managing Diabetes: Complications and Comorbidities focuses on the number of conditions and comorbidities that affect an individual's activities of daily living. Help your patients learn to recognize the early signs of changes that can lead to these conditions so together you can work to prevent or delay their onset.”

Learn and Earn
Free continuing education (CE) for nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists included with book purchase. When you purchase the book, the post-test will be uploaded to your online learning portal. You have two opportunities to pass the post-test and receive 4.5 CEs. One post-test is allowed per book purchase.”

Your Price: $ 24.95, Member Price: $ 19.95” This was published in January 2012 by the AADE, therefore do not look for this in your bookstore or favorite online bookseller.

I will take the word from the person corresponding with me that the topic of sleep apnea is included since the topic is not included in the description.  The site has been totally revamped and the URL that I had is not longer valid. I am just happy I have as much information as I did get.

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