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2/9/2014 9:00:00 AM
Hospital offering diabetes education classes
Patients must be referred by a physician to attend
Mark Molina
Sports Editor

The CHRISTUS SPOHN Health System in Alice is looking to educate citizens on the importance of treating diabetes as they now offer Diabetes Self Management Training.

The class teaches those with diabetes, primarily hospital patients, about the basics of their disease process, dealing with nutrition, bodily care, exercise and the specifics on medications.

Clinical Director and Diabetes Care Coordinator, Sindy Trevino, leads the classes every month in Beeville, Kingsville and Alice.

"I have gotten some who have just been diagnosed and are scared of what might happen to them. They are concerned about what they can eat and what they can't eat," Trevino said. "A lot of people don't know about the medication or how it works. A lot of them are prescribed medication and they don't know why they're getting this medication. So the classes are a lot of those kinds of things."

The class, although free, is for patients who get referred by a physician and is an eight-hour long course.

Since the American Diabetes Association accredits the class, the course must be eight hours long.

In addition to portion control and explanation of medication, also explained are things such as daily foot care and blood sugar testing.

"Daily foot care is something we always stress. Any little cut or any little abrasion should be reported to the doctor. They can develop a wound or an ulcer and it can become worse," Trevino said.

"We also show how to take your blood sugar. We show how much is normal, abnormal and what to do if it's abnormal.

"If they are having trouble purchasing a Glucometer to check then I will help them with resources."
Trevino has been a registered nurse for 11 years and has seen the difference proper diabetes care has made for patients.

And since this is her first time teaching diabetes education in a class setting, she hopes to see improvement, even if some are being forced into care.

"I've seen patients whose A1C's who have been lowered by two to three points by following their meal plans and by losing weight," Trevino said. "Some have even gotten off diabetic medication. I get patients who don't want to be there but their spouse urges them to be there. By the end of the day, they are fortunate for have taken the class."

The classes are every month at CHRISTUS SPOHN hospital on the third floor in Room 314.

The next class will be on Feb. 11.

"It sounds like eight hours is forever, but you need that time to absorb all the information that we are giving you," Trevino said.

"Don't get discouraged, you can learn a lot through this class. We encourage you to come to this class because education is a must for fighting this disease.

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