The Role of an Athletic Trainer in Managing Diabetes
Posted December 15, 2016
By Mackenzie Simmons, ATC
The theme for National Diabetes Month in November this year was “Managing Diabetes—It’s Not Easy, but it’s Worth it.” There are 2 important aspects to this theme that impacts the work of healthcare providers.
1. It serves as a reminder to all persons diagnosed with diabetes that they are not alone.
2. It serves to educate the population on the importance of managing diabetes correctly to prevent secondary complications including heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss and amputation.
It is important for healthcare professionals, along with members of the community, to be educated on the risk factors of diabetes as well as any issue that may arise due to improper management. As healthcare providers, Athletic Trainers (AT) have several important roles and responsibilities with diabetes management.
First and foremost, ATs need to educate patients, parents and coaches on what to look out for with hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Also, having a treatment plan readily available, along with the patient’s emergency medical forms, is essential incase an emergency arises. Establishing good rapport with the patient and their family is imperative to gain trust in the relationship.
There are also several tips ATs should provide to your patients with diabetes:
- Know your ABC’s including the following:
* A1C or blood test that measures the average blood sugar level over the past 3 months
* Blood pressure
- Get into a routine schedule with your eating habits and physical activity
- Know your blood sugar levels and what to do when they become too high or too low
- Establish a team of healthcare professionals who are able to provide support and answer questions
For more information on this topic, visit the following webpages: