The Outpatient Diabetes Education Program Shows You How

People who are living with diabetes are benefiting from new medication, advanced technology and research, which help them to better manage their disease. The Outpatient Diabetes Education Program at Washington Adventist and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers helps patients with all stages of diabetes and their family members learn how to live with the disease. The comprehensive program provides one hour of one-on-one counseling in addition to nine hours of diabetes education taught by certified diabetes educators, including a registered nurse and a registered dietitian. The small class sizes allow for interactive sessions and personalized instruction. “It’s a very open learning environment,” says Tanya Johnson, R.D., LDN, certified diabetes educator (CDE) at Washington Adventist Hospital. “Students are encouraged to share their experiences and ask questions, which allow us to engage with each person and address the most relevant topics of concern.”

Topics discussed during the program include:

  • Checking and understanding blood glucose numbers
  • Prevention of short-term and long-term conditions
  • Medication guidance
  • Food and eating education
  • Foot care
  • Physical activity recommendations
  • Goal setting, coping and stress management

Washington Adventist and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Centers offer evening classes on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. to accommodate patients’ work schedules. Bilingual classes (English and Spanish) are also available. At the conclusion of the sessions, participants fill out an evaluation to ensure that the program is providing the most comprehensive diabetes education and is growing to fit the needs of each patient.

“It’s rewarding to see how patients’ lives have changed for the better because they’ve lost weight, their blood sugar has improved and they have been able to get in control of their lives as a result of going through the course,” says Michele McBride, R.N., BSN, CDE, coordinator of the Outpatient Diabetes Education Program at Adventist HealthCare.