Diabetes, Nursing

Celebrating National Nurses Month and International Nurses Day Part Three: Christina Averbeck

Glytec joins the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) in celebrating the Year of the Nurse in 2021. The ANA has expanded its annual National Nurses Week into National Nurses Month, which it’s celebrating all throughout May. And as it always does, ICN is celebrating International Nurses Day around the world on May 12 to commemorate the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

This year’s celebrations seek to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare and the nursing profession to show the critical role nurses play in transforming the way care is delivered. As the largest healthcare profession, Nurses have an integral role and must have a voice in planning the future of healthcare.

In honor of the Year of the Nurse, Glytec’s Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Kerri Doucette, RN, RDN, CDCES, is conducting a three-part interview series with nursing professionals that have delivered outstanding clinical support in treating patients with diabetes and glycemic management issues. 

The final installment of our series is a conversation with Christina Averbeck, RN, Inpatient Diabetes Care & Education Specialist at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. Christina became an LPN in 2003 and an RN in 2011. From 2004 to 2011, she worked in Neurology, specializing in a skilled medical unit for Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries. In September of 2011, she changed roles and began working with two special Endocrinologists, in Sarasota, FL. Although Endocrinology serves many areas, Diabetes Mellitus was the most robust. She worked closely with the physicians in caring for PWD and providing education. She also worked closely with local CDE’s and Insulin Pump Trainers in the use of CGM’s and Insulin Pump Therapy. Through her years spent in Endocrinology, she grew a love and passion for those with DM and knew she wanted to do more. In 2019, Christina accepted a position as the Inpatient Diabetes Educator at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. She is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree and plans to sit for the certification of diabetes education later this year. Click here for part one of the series with Christine Dignan, BSN, RN, Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), Sentara Obici Hospital. For part two with Lorraine Porcaro, MS-DEDM, RN, CDCES, BC-ADM, Diabetes Clinical Manager at Garnet Health Medical Center’s Dunkelman Diabetes Center click here.

Kerri Doucette: Why is 2021 such an important time to raise the visibility of the critical role nurses have in delivering care and education for people struggling with glycemic management?

Christina Averbeck: Diabetes Mellitus is one of the world’s fastest growing chronic diseases, affecting more than 34 million Americans and leading to more than 4 million deaths worldwide. Diabetes is a daily challenge for those who live with this chronic disease, and if not properly managed, it can lower the overall quality of life.

The pandemic has made it increasingly difficult for some members of the community to find evidence-based, accurate information. It is the role of the nurse to ensure people are properly educated to encourage glycemic management compliance. Inpatient diabetes education opportunities are invaluable for nurses to teach patients using evidence-based practices for self-management and awareness for improved glycemic control.

KD: What are some examples of your hospital or health system embracing glycemic management technology to empower its nursing staff?

CA: Our health system recently invested in an eGlycemic Management System from Glytec, and throughout the planning and decision-making process, we solicited input from the clinical nursing staff. Specific members of the clinical nursing staff were appointed as “super users'' and helped to educate their colleagues, as well as report any feedback to the primary team. Empowering the clinical nursing staff in the decision-making process promotes safety and enables patient-centered care.

KD: During Sarasota’s recent Go Live, your staff utilized a Glytec Clinical Project Lead (CPL) on a WOW (workstation on wheels), which allowed your clinical lead to have a Glytec CPL with them to answer any questions at the bedside with patients. How did this remote work environment enable nurses in their delivery of care?

CA: The pandemic prevented us from having on-site support, but thankfully we were able to connect our clinical team with Glytec’s clinical support team using our telemedicine technology. This streamlined, virtual communication helped to instill confidence in bedside nurses as they became proficient at navigating a completely new glycemic management program. It was nice to have help only a click of a button away!

InkedSMH IV  Lori on Wheels_LI

KD: The theme of this year’s International Nurses’ Day is to highlight the ways nurses are innovating and provide a glimpse into what the future of nursing may look like. Given the developments and innovations over the past year, how do you see the role of the nurse evolving in terms of glycemic management?

CA: Although they may not immediately realize it, bedside nurses play an invaluable role in innovation because of their vast institutional knowledge of hospital standards, workflows and processes. In the future, I believe that the role of the nurse will further evolve into the operational and process improvement space. This provides nurses with an opportunity to leverage their experience and institutional knowledge to standardize workflows, processes and procedures, which will enhance the work of their bedside nurse colleagues.

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