I am sure you remember the day your child was diagnosed with diabetes. You can probably remember the exact date and location where this happened. You may remember the weeks prior to diagnosis and wondering, “Why is my child so tired?” “Why are they loosing weight?” “Why are they so thirsty and urinating so much?” A diagnosis of diabetes was probably the last thing on your mind.
You may also remember how you felt when the diagnosis was confirmed; perhaps it was disbelief, fear, panic, anger, or all of the above and more. Although nothing can make receiving a diagnosis of diabetes stress free, the team at the Kovler Diabetes Center for Kids are doing all we can to make the process as smooth as possible.
When a child is admitted to Comer Children’s Hospital with a new diagnosis of diabetes, a team of providers become involved in the care. Heading the team are the Pediatric Endocrinologists and Pediatric Endocrinology Fellows, in collaboration with the Pediatric Medical Service. Other members of the team include Critical and Acute Care Nurses, Certified Diabetes Educators, Registered Dietitians, Pharmacists, Social Workers, and Discharge Planners. We work together to ensure all of the patient’s needs are met during their hospitalization.
Over the past year we have developed an Inpatient Diabetes Multidisciplinary Work Team with the purpose of improving the care we give our kids who are newly diagnosed or admitted for complications related to diabetes. We have representatives from all of the involved disciplines.
This year, some of the accomplishments of the group include:
- An admission informational sheet for families, outlining hospital course.
- An educational PowerPoint for residents.
- A discharge prescription-ordering sheet for diabetes medication and supplies.
- An informational take home kit.
- A 4-hour in-service program for nurses caring for newly diagnosed children.
Ongoing projects we are working on include:
- A DKA policy revision and standardization for ER, ICU, Gen floor.
- Standardization of insulin orders.
- A thorough policy for insulin pump use during hospitalization.
- Continued improvements in menus to improve carbohydrate-counting clarity, and encourage healthy food choices.
Our goal is to continue to improve the services we provide to our kids and families, so that we can offer the best possible care during this critical time. Hopefully we can make it just a little less stressful for both our patients and their families.
We would love to hear about your experiences and welcome any suggestions and ideas you may have.
Susan McLaughlin, RN, BSN, CDE
Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator