November 13, 2015

Be Concerned About What CDEs Teach You

I am happy that I don't currently use insulin pens. Hopefully, I will not make the mistakes some of these people did. My blog here explains one mistake a patient made and I am writing about another.

Yes, I admit I do not understand why patients are not properly taught how to use insulin pens, or for that matter any diabetes equipment. This time I am surprised as the instructor has RN (registered nurse) as her first title and CDE is the last one listed. It is apparent that assumptions were made about using insulin pens that should not have been assumed. When this happens, patients can often receive bad results.

I would have thought the patient would have thought to ask more questions and would have noticed earlier that things weren't right, but apparently, some patients blindly go about treating themselves and think nothing is wrong. Please readers don't let this happen to you.

Lessons Learned:
  • It’s not always clear to patients that they need to change pen needles. As part of insulin pen teaching, include safe ways of removing, and disposing of, the needle. Always remove the needle, so the patient sees that step.
  • When I receive reports of high carb intake, I won’t always rely on what I’m told on the phone. I will request the patient come in to see me sooner so I can assess technique.
  • Don’t always blame high carbs for the high glucose levels. There are many reasons for high glucose levels.”
Comments to lessons learned above – why is the patient not required to show that he/she understands by removing the needle. Some patients do require doing this several times before they fully comprehend the procedure. Apparently, there is more than one type of pen needle and all types should be taught.

The second point above is common sense and should done if proper procedures were not taught in the first place. The last statement is also common sense and should not be overlooked.

If you have questions about what the CDE tells or mandates that you do, always ask for a re-explanation or if there are other types of that same equipment that may operate differently.

Always learn as much as possible and read any instructions that come with the equipment to find out if you have more questions and if necessary call the CDE if possible to have these questions answered.


Ila East said...

I think a lot of people don't ask questions because the procedure is so new to them they don't know what they don't know. When I was diagnosed, the first,thing I did was go to a bookstore and buy 2 books. Then I hit the Internet, met other PWDs both t1 and t2 and learned from them. I used a pen for Levemire and it's been so long ago that I don't remember what was taught. I don't think I had a provlem with changing needles because I started using a vial and it was kinds ingrained in me to change.

Bob Fenton said...

Yes, some people probably have no idea and would be totally lost in any explanation. Others seem to have a sixth sense for things.