Kicking off the nursing news this week is a look at a study on diabetes patient care and satisfaction out of the U.K. In the U.K., more than one-third of the diabetes primary care clinics there are run by nurses, some of whom have prescribing ability for the patients there. These patients are usually more satisfied or just as satisfied with the patient care they receive and other research show similar outcomes for them.
UK Primary Care and Diabetes Nurses
The use of primary care clinics to manage diabetes patients is standard in the United Kingdom rather than using specialists to do so. Only the most unstable or complex diabetic patients get referred to specialists there. About eighty percent of the primary care practices in the U.K. have a special diabetes management nurse on staff. Many of these nurses can also prescribe medications for their patients needing them for the management of their disease.
The study looked at the lab values of patients in all the clinics, both physician and nurse-run, over a six-month time frame to see whether the blood sugar management and subsequent outcomes were different between the patients managed by either group. The researchers found no significant difference between the glucose management and A1c levels in either group.
The patients also showed similar self-care scores and the nurses group showed higher patient satisfaction scores. This may be because the patients spent nearly eight minutes longer with the nurses than they did with doctors who saw them. This comes around, in my book, to supporting the nursing theory of patient care. The patient education focused holistic care that we are all trained to provide.
I’ll keep watching this, but I’d like to see a similar study here in the U.S. to see if there are ways to improve outcomes and satisfaction with similar nurse-run programs here.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Kratom Poison Center Issues and Episode 366.