DOVER-FOXCROFT - Carleen Davis, RN, BSN of the Diabetes and Nutrition Center at Mayo Regional Hospital has achieved Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) status by successfully completing the examination offered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators.
The National Certification Board was established in 1986 to develop and administer a certification program for health care professionals who teach patients with diabetes how to manage their disease. CDE candidates must meet rigorous credential and professional practice experience requirements to be eligible to take the exam. Achieving the CDE credential demonstrates to patients that the health care professional possesses specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for patients with diabetes. There are currently more than 15,000 diabetes educators who hold the CDE credential.
Davis earned her BSN degree from the University of Maine in 1995, and since then she has worked as a long-term care charge nurse at Dexter Health Care, and for the past six years as a diabetes educator for Mayo's Diabetes and Nutrition Center.
At the Diabetes and Nutrition Center, Davis works with two other diabetes educators -- Jody Annis, RN and Judy Gilbert, RN -- as well as registered dietitian Marion McLellan. The staff provides self-management education to patients to promote better management of their diabetes treatment regimen. Goals are set for each individual patient, and the staff works with patients to help them meet those goals.
Davis said it is important for Mayo to reach out to people with diabetes, many of whom go undiagnosed and untreated. "There are 21 million people with diabetes in the United States, and that number is growing rapidly, yet only 20% are receiving diabetes education," she said. Diabetes can be managed by having regular physical exams, and by controlling blood sugar levels through a proper diet and regular exercise. Anyone with a family history of diabetes should be checked annually. Others at increased risk from the disease are those who are over age 45, overweight and who do not exercise regularly.
Warning signs of diabetes include frequent urination, unusual thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, fatigue, irritability, frequent infections, blurred vision, and tingling or numbness in the hands or feet.
The Diabetes and Nutrition Center offers monthly diabetes support groups at the hospital, and in Dexter and Guilford. For more information, contact the center at 564-4416.
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