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What is a Certified Diabetes Educator? - Health Column

Carolyn Salinas, RN, CDE Diabetes

Adventist Health / Central Valley Network Certified Diabetes Educator

    If you have diabetes, your physician will most likely ask you to see a certified diabetes educator (CDE) and attend an Adventist Health Diabetes Support Group in Hanford, Selma or Reedley.  
    You may wonder, what is a certified diabetes educator? Are they nutritionists, dietitians, or nurses? And why do I need to meet with a CDE? What can he or she possibly know about diabetes that will make a difference in my life? 
    A CDE is a highly educated health care professional who has special training and experience in diabetes self-management education and has passed the Certification Examination for Diabetes Educators. 
    CDEs can be physicians, registered nurses, dietitians, clinical psychologists, physical therapists or pharmacists.
    To become certified, CDEs must have a minimum of two years of professional practice and a minimum of 1,000 hours of diabetes self-management education experience and must be up-to-date with continuing education hours to pass the rigorous examination. 
    You can be confident that the Adventist Health CDE you are meeting is a credentialed provider who has demonstrated a distinct and specialized knowledge in diabetes to provide quality care.
    The role of a CDE is to educate people with pre-diabetes, diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 and gestational diabetes. They can also help educate family members of the diabetic patient about information, skills and abilities necessary for self-care.  
    What topics will your CDE speak with you about when you meet them?

  • Disease process and treatment options: The difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and the medications and diet requirements to manage it.  
  • Nutritional management in your lifestyle: What you can eat and how much.
  • Physical activity: How exercise helps manage diabetes.
  • Medication safety for maximum therapeutic effectiveness: How pills and insulin work and why medication is needed to manage diabetes.  Using the results of blood glucose and other measurements to help manage health.
  • Prevention, detection and treatment of acute complications: High and low blood sugars.
  • Prevention, detection and treatment of chronic complications: Eye, heart, nerve, kidney and foot problems.
  • Personal strategies to address psychosocial issues and concerns: Stress and depression.
  • Personal strategies to promote health and behavior change: Support and guidance in managing diabetes. CDEs can give confidence tips for speaking with doctors about managing health.

    Your CDE will support you in making informed decisions and behavioral changes, solving problems and communicating with your health care team so that you can improve your health and quality of life. 
    So thank your doctor or health care provider for caring about your health and referring you to a CDE. 
    Adventist Health / Central Valley Network has four certified diabetes educators serving at Community Care clinics throughout the Valley. To make an appointment, speak with your doctor. 
    The CDEs in your community are:
- Julie Azevedo, RN, CDE, in Hanford at Central Valley General Hospital (CVGH) and Adventist Health / Community Care - Coalinga
- Chuck Newcomb, MS, RD, CDE, in Hanford at CVGH and Adventist Health / Community Care - Corcoran
- Carolyn Salinas, RN, CDE, at Adventist Health / Community Care - Home Garden. They may be reached by calling 559-589-2060. 
    For more information about diabetes and CDEs, attend the next free Diabetes Support Group in Hanford from 1:30 to 3 p.m., Thursday, April 28, at Central Valley General Hospital.