Your Pharmacist Might Be The Right Source
By Jamie Bussin
Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a daunting experience, Walmart pharmacist Mandip Sandhur empathizes. In addition to filling prescriptions and dispensing medications, she also happens to be a Certified Diabetes Educator (“CDE”).
A CDE is a healthcare professional such as a nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or doctor who specializes in treating people living with diabetes, has a sound knowledge base in diabetes care management and education processes, as well as good communication skills. To become a CDE, one must be a fully licensed healthcare professional with a regulatory body in Canada, in a profession whose scope permits diabetes education, and who has a minimum of 800 hours of experience in diabetes education in the 3 years leading up to application for the designation and then passes the Canadian CDE exam.
The principal objective of a CDE is to help people living with diabetes, pre-diabetes or gestational diabetes develop individualized goals to better optimize their care and health outcomes. Mandip provides such services as medication reviews, and advises on such topics as healthy eating, the importance of proper foot care and regular physical activities, and training on blood glucose devices, insulin use and much more.
Mandip recognizes that it can be very overwhelming to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. “There’s a lot of information to take in. Patients may go through many emotions such as denial, anger, depression and frustration. My role as a pharmacist and CDE is to provide diabetes information, assist with management strategies and provide support for patients in their own health care journey.”
With respect to diabetes management, Mandip says that Walmart pharmacists can help facilitate positive health outcomes by training patients on using a home blood glucose meter, offering nutritional support and coaching, addressing common concerns for those starting to use insulin, reviewing injection technique, and outlining safety considerations with respect to insulin use such as hypoglycemia. “We also collaborate with family physicians and endocrinologists to optimize results on injectable and orally dosed diabetes medications.”
For those patients recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, Mandip recommends that they gain an understanding of the cause, symptoms, treatment and complications of diabetes to proactively deal with their health issues. “Patients are educated to eat healthy meals and snacks, engage in regular physical activity, monitor blood sugar with a home blood glucose meter, aim for a healthy body weight, take prescribed diabetes medication and manage stress effectively.”
This article is a digested excerpt of an interview that airs on The Tonic Talk Show in November. In the full version, which is available online at thetonic.ca/podcast/, Mandip provides more information about blood glucose screening, and other services that Walmart pharmacists can provide to support their customers who live with diabetes.