Diabetes Program@ Atikokan Family Health Team
The Diabetes program is provided by Kristin St.Pierre, Registered Nurse. This program is open to those who think they may be at risk for developing diabetes, those diagnosed with pre-diabetes, type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes. Patients can enroll in this program through self-referral, or referral by their primary care provider. Patients who enroll in our diabetes program can count on several things. The first is they have a permanent liaison who assists with tasks including referrals and medication refills, while working closely with our Nurse Practitioners and Physicians. The second is to have a nurse who follows-up with you regarding lab work results, medication questions and concerns, and self-management strategies. The third is regular assessments to monitor treatment effectiveness, disease progression and detect diabetes complications.
At each diabetes visit the RN will:
- Measure height, weight and blood pressure
- Administer point of care A1C testing as needed
- Inspect feet for changes or abnormalities related to diabetes complications
- Review self-monitoring glucose record
- Review blood work and lab values
- Review medications to control glucose, lipids, and blood pressure
- Review self-management skills, progress toward behaviour change goals, dietary needs, and physical activity as indicated
- Review need for eye and dental exams
- Provide teaching related to insulin therapy and glucose monitoring devices.
- Assess for coping, depression, or other mood disorders
- Counsel on smoking cessation and alcohol use
- Arrange appointments with the patient’s primary care provider, mental health worker or dietician as needed
Regular monitoring for diabetes management is important to assess achievement of treatment goals and to adjust therapy as necessary. Checking regularly for long-term complications can help detect problems at a time when they can be treated and managed successfully. The physical exam, laboratory tests, and other assessments are done to monitor diabetes management and to identify complications early, and should be performed during quarterly diabetes visits, and at annual visits with your doctor.
Point of Care Testing for Patients with Diabetes
Typically, patients with existing diabetes are monitored for HbA1c every three to six months. This generally involves a visit for venipuncture at the lab, with a follow-up appointment one to two weeks later to discuss results once they are available. Now available at the Family Health Team is HbA1c Point of Care Testing (POCT). This involves a finger prick, much like when you test your blood sugars at home and a six minute wait for the results. From a patient experience perspective, use of Point of Care Testing for HbA1c can enhance satisfaction levels. This is because use of POCT means that after just one visit, they can leave with an immediate action plan or relevant prescription, should results indicate the need.
Kristin St. Pierre
Registered Nurse – Diabetes Program