Purpose: The purpose of this project was to enhance the knowledge of the bedside nurse in diabetes management. A forum for ongoing support and exploration of clinical problems, along with the distribution of educational tools were the components of this program.
Background: Diabetes accounts for 30% of patients admitted to the hospital. It has become more challenging to manage as the treatment choices have increased. There are a number of researchers who have identified nurse and physician knowledge of diabetes management principles as suboptimal.
Description of the Innovation: Staff nurses are educated for a role as a Diabetes Management Mentor and are expected to educate/dialogue with peers monthly, model advocacy and diabetes patient education skills, facilitate referrals for diabetes education, and direct staff to resources for diabetes management.
Outcomes: Diabetes Management Mentors feel more confident in their knowledge of diabetes and their ability to resolve clinical issues as they arise.
Conclusion: The Diabetes Management Mentor role is another avenue for nurses to refine their clinical knowledge base and acquire skills to share with colleagues while remaining at the bedside.
Implications: The clinical nurse specialist is expertly prepared to foster the professional development of bedside nurses while simultaneously making a positive impact on disease management. Opportunity for future investigation includes efficacy of teaching tools on diabetes mastery, the effect of clinical nurse specialist mentoring on a select group of bedside nurses, and the Diabetes Management Mentor’s impact on prevention of near-miss events.