This June has been very special for Healthy Interactions, as it marks ten years of our collaboration with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the Merck sponsorship of the Journey For Control program. At the same time, this is a special occasion for diabetes educators like me, who have been using Conversation Map tools for a decade now.
With this blog, I would like to reflect on how the Map program has made me a better clinician and facilitator. Consequently, advanced my career as a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).
Here are my top ten reasons I think the Map tools helped me as diabetes educator:
- Allow me to provide group DSMES that is truly evidenced-based and standardized. Otherwise, I would still probably use powerpoint slides and teach instead of allowing my patients to learn.
- Allowed me to have the same patients attending the same Map sessions for the last ten years. Yes, I have a group of PWD who have been attending monthly Map sessions for the last ten years: As their diabetes changes, their perspective and ability to self-manage changes. Consequently, use of the same Map, with the same participants but always a different way they experience the Map session!
- I have been able to get to know thousands of diabetes educators such as nurses, dietitians, doctors and pharmacists who I have trained to use the Map tools. Every time I train new facilitators, I learn from them, about their work, and challenges and opportunities for DSMES.
- Allowed other HCPs to evaluate my performance while training them. I have advanced my skills, as my peers provided me honest feedback about how helpful I have been (or not) in training them.
- The ability to publish several papers and research projects about the Map tools, allowing me to grow confident in evaluating effectiveness of DSMES, how it is best delivered, and examining what works vs what is not.
- I have learned how to become a better advocate for PWD and help other educators to transition from 1:1 education to group sessions. Many times 1:1 is perceived to be better than group. The reality is, if provided right, group sessions can be even better than 1:1 visit.
- Get to practice my corporate and sales skills. That is true, as diabetes educators we sell our services to providers and PWD.
- Learn how to engage my patients in a way that they want to complete all of ten hours of DSME, and want to later become my digital patient’s via our Digital Engagement Platform. Keeping patients engaged via online/digital coaching is a different skill set than providing in person interventions.
- Allowed me to learn from Healthy Interactions, Merck and the ADA team members who are not HCPs but contribute to DSMES advancement on the same level as HCP’s do.
- The most important is YOU, yes you, this blog reader - as you take time to be part of the same journey as I am!
How has the Map program changed your career?