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Nursing Excellence

The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Issue 7 


Annette ConleyPediatric Diabetes Care Center Support Group

By Annette Conley, BSN, RN, CDE - Endocrinology

The Pediatric Diabetes Care Center at Children’s Hospital Central California holds a biannual support group meeting each year in the fall and in the spring to provide opportunities for education, networking, community involvement, and fun.

The event includes a number of activities. We enjoy a meal together such as pizza, salad, and diet soda. This is a time for parents to see other families use a meter to test their child’s blood sugar, count the grams of carbohydrate, and give insulin – either by pen or insulin pump. Many parents consider this the highlight of the meeting – to be part of a group of families all performing these activities and learning from one another.

Community involvement is an essential part of the support group. The Tulare Girl Scout troop entertains the children by creating a “carnival” for them. Face-painting, games, T-shirt painting and prizes are provided. Children and their siblings are able to meet other children who also have diabetes, and this helps them to see they are not alone. It is important for children with diabetes to find a friend who understands how they feel living with diabetes.

While the younger children enjoy the carnival, parents and other family members watch presentations on various diabetes management topics, including psycho-social issues affecting diabetes management, methods to increase adherence in teens, continuous glucose monitoring systems, attending diabetes camps, diabetes management issues at school, how to organize local support groups, and The Trial Net Study, a world-wide study for type I diabetes. Representatives of the study are available to screen families for their risk of developing diabetes.

Management of diabetes is a family affair. Children who are on insulin therapy require careful management and close supervision to be safe and to avoid the complications of diabetes. The emotional aspect of this disease extends to all family members. Life has forever changed for them. Often parents and extended family members feel isolated and alone. The support group meetings provide a time for families to network with others who share the same fears and concerns. Friendships are formed and contact information exchanged. Family-centered care is reflected in the supportive and fun environment created for both the child and the family.



 

In This Issue

A Walk On The Family Side

Patient Family Satisfaction

Family-Centered Medical Care

Family-Centered Communication

Nursing and Child Life

Spiritual Care

Perspective

Family-Centered CARE

Pediatric Diabetes Care

Supporting Teens on Dialysis

Patient Satisfaction Comments