Friday, April 15, 2011

How can nurses help Children/Teens with Diabetes?

I am coming into a busy season. I have doctors appointments everyday for the next week so this guest post is perfectly timed!! It is contributed by Bobbie Walker, she writes on the topic of BSN Degree . She welcomes your comments at her email id: bobbiew862[@]gmail[.]com.  Thank you so much Bobbie!! and enjoy everyone...

How Can Nurses Help Children/Teens with Type I Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 is harsher than Type 2 diabetes because it is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas stops secreting insulin and is completely dependent on external sources to keep blood sugar levels under control. Its onset is swift and sudden, and it hits children and teenagers more than adults. Around 10 percent of all diabetics in the US have Type 1 diabetes, and the sooner this is diagnosed, the better it can be managed to prolong life, improve its quality, and prevent diabetes-related complications.

Nurses play a vital role in helping to provide care for children and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes and in educating them and their parents in managing the disease so as to reduce the risks and allow them to lead as normal a life as possible. They are involved in every stage of the disease, from its diagnosis to its management and care.

In the case of very young patients who are unable to look after their own health, nurses must:

• Comfort their parents at the diagnosis and reassure them that Type 1 diabetes is manageable with the right kind of care.
• Educate parents about the symptoms and signs of danger they have to be aware of – hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia are two conditions which could cause unconsciousness in diabetic patients.
• Teach parents how to provide the best care for their children, right from giving them their insulin shots at the right time to preparing their meals with care and getting them to eat on time to ensuring that they get some exercise regularly.
• Counsel parents through their frustration and helplessness in having to deal with crying children who throw tantrums because they don’t understand what is happening to them and why they have to have injections and are not allowed to eat whatever they want.
• Educate parents on what to do and whom to call when they see signs of distress in their children or when they lose consciousness.
• Remind them to come in for their routine tests and examination, and ensure that you update them about the progress of their child without holding anything back.

When a teenager or an older child has Type 1 diabetes, nurses must:
• Counsel them through the trauma the disease causes – they are sure to be devastated because they must change their lifestyles considerably adapt to a new way of life that is completely unfamiliar to them.
• Teach them how to inject themselves with insulin as and when needed.
• Educate them about their meal plans and make them understand how important it is to eat the right food at the right time and in the right amounts.
• Show them how to notice signs and symptoms of distress and stress upon them the need to inform the closest adult or call an emergency number for help.

Nurses must start providing care for their diabetic patients from the time they’re hospitalized initially after the diagnosis, and continue monitoring their progress as the years pass by. Diabetes is not a disease that can be cured, and it’s important to know how to manage it and keep it at bay so your patients can lead as close to a normal life as possible.


  1. I believe that the people surrounding the sufferer with a sign of diabetes can really help influence the condition of the patient.

  2. Great guest post! Thanks for having Bobbie over Barb.