Learning from the experts

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  • Editorial

    81EDN Autumn 2009 Vol. 6 No. 3 Copyright 2009 FEND. Published by John Wiley & Sons

    Diabetes nurses from allover Europe, and evenglobally, are well versed inthe need to learn as muchas they can about dia-betes. Although there are

    still educational restrictions in some countries we knowfrom recent SEND findings that many of us are edu-cated to Masters level and beyond, and that we spe-cialise in diabetes knowledge and practice. The broadrange of presentations at the FEND conference fromdiabetes screening through to managing complications all add to our learning, and are testament to ourexpertise. FENDs commitment to education is also evi-dent by the numbers waiting to attend the EuropeanNurses Diabetes Collaborative University Project (END-CUP) and the support for a Chair of Clinical DiabetesNursing at Kings College London. Long may this con-tinue! Education remains key to our understanding ofdiabetes, both in terms of management and prevention.

    Diabetes programmes for healthcare professionalsare hard to access in some parts of Europe, as well asfurther afield, and many of our colleagues make dowith impromptu courses arranged locally and perhapsinfrequently. This is another reason why membershipof FEND is so important. Free membership qualifiesthe holder to receive this journal the only journaldedicated to diabetes nurses in Europe which keepsus up to date on recent findings, such as the article byDay in this issue of European Diabetes Nursing (EDN;pages 8287) on new type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM)treatments, and also on important policy decisions.

    A valuable resourceWe dont always have to wait for formal educationalcourses in diabetes as important as these are. We havea resource on our own doorstep if we make the time tolisten and evaluate. This resource is rich in experience

    and is present in abundance your patients. Oneimportant aspect of our education is appreciating fullythe daily impact that diabetes may have on peopleslives and the multifactorial way people go about copingwith this condition.

    There is always something to learn from theseexperts. At a recent diabetes self-help group, forinstance, one carer gave an excellent PowerPoint pres-entation on how to inform people about local diabetesservices. After talking to the carer we are now jointlyproposing a research bid to a local charity to see if wecan put this excellent resource into every primary carepractice in the locality. This is user research in action,and often our best research comes from engaging withpatients and listening to them.

    Engaging with patients and carersThe need to engage more fully with people with dia-betes and their carers is reflected in the other papersselected for this edition of EDN. Brooks et al (pages9598) amply demonstrate the importance of under-standing the key words used in diabetes for example;risk has a different meaning for patients compared toprofessionals. Clarke et al (pages 8894) also highlightgender differences in perceived support and self-effi-cacy, which may indicate the need for a more user-focussed perspective in the design of diabetes educationfor newly diagnosed people with T2DM. Finally, Parsianand Dunning (pages 99103) explore definitions ofspirituality and its importance in adopting coping stylesfor young people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).

    This edition of EDN provides a good spectrum ofdiabetes knowledge, but in particular we hope that itwill give you the inspiration to look at your own area ofpractice and learn from the experts on your doorstep.

    Gillian Hood and HJM (Bert) VrijhoefCo-Editors, EDN

    Learning from the experts

    LettersWe would be pleased to receive any comments you may have on articles published in this issue of European Diabetes Nursing or any practice points or ideas you would like to share with readers. We will consider publishing anycorrespondence in future issues.

    Please send your comments to: The Editor, European Diabetes Nursing, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ.

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