Nursing assistants work under the supervision of registered nurses and are often the person who is most involved in the day-to-day care of the patient. A nursing assistant may have contact with the diabetic patient in a clinic, in the community, or in a hospital. Much of his role involves monitoring the patient's condition, and helping her to manage it as effectively as possible. The nursing assistant can play a crucial part in helping the person with diabetes to maximize her quality of life.
The nursing assistant together with the RN helps educate and inform the patient about effective diet management. Diet, particularly carbohydrate control, is central to diabetes. Many diabetic patients struggle with this aspect of their condition. Some patients may instinctively reject some of this advice. The nursing assistant can often form a trusting relationship with the patient, where such issues can be discussed in a constructive way.
The nursing assistant monitors all aspects of the diabetic patient's care. She may carry out routine urinalysis, record the results, and immediately report any abnormailitie. The nursing assistant often carries out blood glucose monitoring and reports and records the results. Any changes in the patient's level of consciousness, or behavior will also be noted and reported by the care assistant. Some nursing assistants are trained to assist with insulin pump therapy.
The nursing assistant should be trained to recognize complications and to act immediately, informing the nurse in charge or the physician. The obvious acute complications occur when there is an imbalance between the glucose and insulin levels. Good care can help the patient avoid some of these complication. The nursing assistant should help the patient with hygiene needs, ensuring that he regularly attends the podiatry clinic and has regular eye tests.