That nurse thing.

Kim commented yesterday and said it’s never too late to become a nurse.

That is true.  What is also true is that my pre-requisites are expiring for some program and that I don’t have the desire to sit in the classroom again and the end result I would desire would take years (and money) to achieve.

When I began my pursuit of pre-requisites, the end goal I sought out was becoming a nurse specialist in cardiac care.  Back in 1993, while my father recovered from his heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery, the nurses who educated him and our family had a definite impact on me.  Compassionate and knowledgeable, they were there to make us all comfortable.

After I was done with pre-requisites (anatomy & physiology, microbiology, statistics – oh my), I worked as a nursing assistant for about two weeks.  It didn’t go well.  I was seen as too compassionate in a setting where speed was key.  It turned me off to general hospital shift work, that’s for sure.

Now that I’m a few years separated from that experience, I don’t regret all the classes I took.  Like I said yesterday, it helps me understand disease mechanisms and research studies (and how research can be skewed any which way you’d like).

What I’d love to do is be a formal patient advocate for those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Show them that small steps can lead to improved health outcomes.  Encourage them to slowly change eating habits and add exercise to daily routines.   It’s a shame that there is no program for people like me to become certified diabetes educators.  I’d have to become a nurse or a dietitian or psychologist or a myriad of other possibilities that require more education than I’m willing to take on at this time.

For now, I’ll just continue my informal diabetes advocacy and freelance writing about health issues.  For now.

Posted on November 3, 2009, in Health. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Definitely one thing we need in the diabetes care realm are peer educators. There was a group, Peers for Progress, that was starting to pull together a curriculum for this. I think they did get it together but the way they are offering it, last time I checked, didn’t seem as useful or as geared to the general diabetic public as it might have been.

  2. I like your idea, “formal patient advocate for those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.” I know several type 2′s who have basically decided that it’s all too much to handle and so they ignore their type 2. Someone like you, who has the knowledge (your nursing education) and the background (your own type 2) could make a huge difference. Just putting some of the technical terms into plain english would give people a chance to discover that they can take control.

  3. Keep learning and writing.

  4. “Diabetes Advocate” sounds like a business just waiting to be started! I’m serious! You don’t need a degree to know there is a need out there, and trust me, you know much more about diabetes than I will ever know because you LIVE it.

    Providing support, pointing to resources – heck, make it an online business. Your credentials? You are a person with diabetes who knows what they are talking about.

    That’s about the most qualified resume I can think of!

  5. Rachel-

    I started out going back to school this fall but I couldn’t keep up with school and life. I wish the CDE requirements weren’t as strict. I’m with you, I’ll continue to informally spread awareness and tell my story; at least that’s free.

  6. lynn @ human, being

    What you’re talking about is called patient navigation. This is a link to a program run by a researcher I work with:

    It’s online.

    You’d be great at being a patient navigator. You don’t have to be a trained medical professional. And, you can get credit at Community College of Denver for taking all the courses–credits that count toward their community health worker certificate.

  7. Lee Ann Thill

    I could never be a nurse. As lame as it sounds, all things considered, I don’t do well with blood. I have investigated options for becoming a dietitian because I definitely have an interest in nutrition, and I really want to be a CDE, but I’d have to start from scratch with biology 101. I’d love to get more education, but if I did, I think I’d have to build on what I’ve already done.


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