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Phelps Health Helps Individuals Manage Their Diabetes

Kim Richardson, BSN, RN, a diabetes care and education specialist at Phelps Health.
Kim Richardson, BSN, RN, is a diabetes care and education specialist at Phelps Health.

Published on November 18, 2021

Read Time: Three Minutes

You just weren’t feeling like yourself. Exhaustion may have been at an all-time high, or maybe you were getting up multiple times during the night to use the bathroom. Regardless of what prompted the conversation with your doctor or provider, you likely weren’t expecting to be diagnosed with diabetes.

You might feel overwhelmed and not know where to go to get the information you need to help effectively manage your diabetes.

Phelps Health offers Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services to help ease learning and empower individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

“We are passionate about helping people and want to ensure everyone has access to knowledge and the ability to support themselves and their diabetes,” says Kim Richardson, BSN, RN, a diabetes care and education specialist at Phelps Health.

Unlike some other diseases, diabetes cannot be treated by medicine alone. Nutrition, exercise, monitoring blood sugar levels and support are ways that DSMES help participants better manage their diabetes and develop healthy lifestyle changes.

“Our program is customized for each individual and focuses on finding ways for them to successfully manage their diabetes so they can meet their goals and still enjoy life,” Richardson says.

“Our program is customized for each individual and focuses on finding ways for them to successfully manage their diabetes so they can meet their goals and still enjoy life,” Richardson says.

Understanding the causes and symptoms of diabetes increases people’s awareness of the disease. The information and support provided by Phelps Health's diabetes nurse educators encourages participants to determine what lifestyle changes they need to make in order to improve their health and well-being.

Phelps Health's DSMES provides both group and individual sessions and is designed to meet the participants’ needs. This service is not about doing everything for the participants but rather providing the tools necessary to actively engage and motivate healthy behavioral changes.

Once a primary care provider referral is received, an appointment is made and participants meet with diabetes nurse educators to learn about the services provided by DSMES, identify barriers impacting their disease and identify the goals for diabetes education they want to accomplish.

One option available is a 10-hour diabetes education curriculum divided into four classes, each focusing on a different aspect of diabetes self-management such as basic diabetes information, nutrition and meal planning, monitoring blood sugar and recognizing patterns, sick-day management, short- and long-term complications, screenings and current medications involved in the treatment of diabetes.

Establishing realistic goals while participating in DSMES is key to the successful management of diabetes. Diabetes nurse educators help participants create achievable goals and then evaluate the impact their goals have on their life with diabetes.

Additional services available for DSMES are meter teaching, insulin administration and management, survival skills to manage low blood sugar, glucagon administration and management, and medical nutritional therapy. Phelps Health diabetes nurse educators can help with whatever individuals need to meet their challenges.

While participants may have met their goals, care does not stop there. Phelps Health diabetes nurse educators continue to follow up with patients at three months, six months and annually.

“We teach people how to be able to eat foods they enjoy in proper portions and combinations to stabilize their blood sugar and we continue to support them throughout their entire lives,” Richardson says.

The Phelps Health DSMES program offers services in Rolla and Waynesville and also offers Telehealth visits via MyChart.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 11, 2018, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

For More Information

For more information, call (573) 458-7314. Services provided through the Phelps Health DSMES program require a referral from a primary care provider, internal or family medicine provider. 

Found in: Care Diabetes Education Health Healthcare Services Wellness