How to Evaluate Diabetes Classes
Diabetes is a serious medical condition that must be managed to avoid complications. Complications include nerve damage, kidney disease and vision problems and blindness. The more you know about the disease and how to keep the disease in check, the healthier you will be. Yes, there are lots of books and websites with good information. A good class, though, provides information in a well-planned order. It can also provide a support network.
Look for a class or program approved by the American Diabetes Association. The association provides a search tool on its website that locates approved programs in your area.
Look for a class or program accredited by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. The association provides a list of accredited programs by state on its website.
Look for an instructor who specializes in diabetes care and education. Diabetes is a complex medical condition. As a result, health-care professionals can receive specialized training in diabetes care and education. The website of the American Association of Diabetes Educators provides a tool to locate diabetes educators by zip code. Another organization that certifies diabetes educators is the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE).
Ask your doctor for recommendations. She will be able to refer you to organizations that offer diabetes-education classes. She can also provide information on the topics that will be most useful to you based on the severity of your diabetes.
Call the person who is teaching the class before signing up. Ask him if you can get a copy of the class topics. Find out about his background and training. Ask yourself if you have a good feeling about the person. Would you enjoy taking a class from him?
Pick a class that teaches practical ways to manage your diabetes. Of course, you want to learn about diabetes as a disease. But the class should focus on useful information you can use every day. For example useful topics in an introductory class include things like meal planning, appropriate exercise and fitness activities, how to stay motivated and how to monitor yourself for potential complications.