Diabetes Educators: Don’t Run the Other Way … You need Social Media!

Jayne Lehmann RN CDE

Jayne in blue circle photo

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been both informed and amazed by my social media journey. After tweeting my way through the ADS/ADEA Annual Scientific Meeting and doing a post conference blog on ‘Social Media – Another tool in the Diabetes Educators’ tool kit!’ I’ve managed to keep the momentum going. There’s been blogs to check out, inspired quotes to be re-tweeted, articles to be read and shared, new images found for slide presentations and a great deal learnt about interacting with people with diabetes and other health professionals in this arena.  All-in-all I’ve gathered a heap of useful information in a short period of time!

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As DEs we engage with people with diabetes. We want to understand how they are going with their condition and identify ways to work together to support them on their diabetes journey – from a physical and emotional perspective. We are always on the lookout for new ways to engage without clients but also busy, often juggling lots of balls both at work and home life, with little time left to explore new things.

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It’s tempting when someone suggests you need to understand and get involved with, at least at a basic level, social media that you want to run a mile or take early retirement!

But take it from me, I didn’t know what I was missing until I put my Smartphone into top gear and explored the extra features most of us have at our fingertips via these communication platforms.

With all of the information shared with and between people with diabetes via the various platforms (Internet, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram etc.) there is an expectation by people with diabetes that we will be able to discuss these new options, what they have to offer, how to ensure the information is accurate and what we would recommend in this arena. At the very least we will need to at least stay informed about the way people with diabetes access information about their diabetes.

There are many new and innovative ways for people to connect with each other – both people with diabetes and their health professionals. This will help to close the gap between health professional and people with diabetes as expectations are shared about what people with diabetes want from their DE – not what we want to give them. It’s a big call, but social media is likely to take diabetes care and support closer to a fully individualised model of care!

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Take a minute to connect with me on Twitter, it you haven’t already.

  • First, go to the app store you use on your Smartphone or tablet and search for Twitter.
  • Register as a new user and search for @JayneEdHealth. Click the follow link.

Then hang out with us from time to time to check out the postings and re-postings to get you started. Why not send me a photo of what’s in your diabetes education bag or a resource you find helpful in your education and add the #diabetesedoz so it is easy for us to find all of the information related to diabetes educators in Australia?

For those early adopters already tweeting please follow me @JayneEdHealth – then I can follow you!

Next time I’ll be looking at the practical side of how we can use social media in our diabetes care and education.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to @janespeight, for the initial tweet reproduced above. Also feeling inspired by @janespeight,  @NatalieAU, @ashiekitty, @sceliste, @TwiceDiabetes and @RenzaS.

First posted on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 6:13 PM

©Jayne Lehmann, EdHealth Australia 2016

Author: admin

I have written and produced the Diabetes Care in the Community Course for Support Workers. I am also the administrator of the course.

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