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Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

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Content :

Who is on Your Healthcare Team? What Can They Do for You?

Diabetes is a complex disease that involves different systems in the body. It takes more than one healthcare professional to help you manage your diabetes to get it in control. People with diabetes may be working with five or more healthcare professionals: a family doctor, a diabetes nurse educator, a certified diabetes educator, a dietitian/nutritionist, an endocrinologist, a social worker, an exercise therapist, an eye doctor, a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist amongst many others. Each one is there to help you get the best care possible.


What can my family doctor do for me?

Your family doctor may be the person who diagnosed your diabetes. He or she has the best overall view of your health (knowledge of your personal medical history and your family history), recommend the best treatment for you (e.g., pills, insulin, changes to your way of eating, weight loss, etc.) and describe the best way to keep you healthy. Your family doctor will also order your blood tests and take your blood pressure. Lastly, your family doctor serves as a "traffic director," referring you to other healthcare professionals such as an endocrinologist, and to a diabetes educator, when needed.

What can a certified diabetes educator do for me?

If you see the letters C.D.E. (for Certified Diabetes Educator) after the name of a healthcare professional, nurse, nutritionist/dietitian, social worker or pharmacist, it means that person has successfully completed the requirements to become a Certified Diabetes Educator. Becoming a CDE requires having work experience in diabetes education and passing an exam demonstrating knowledge of all aspects of diabetes. Diabetes educators work to help people with diabetes understand how to keep their diabetes in control and learn how to adjust their lifestyle and behaviour so they can successfully manage their diabetes. They also focus on helping you set goals and solve problems.

What can a nurse or nurse practitioner do for me?

Things move very quickly in the doctor's office and you may not have the time to ask your doctor all your questions. The nurse or nurse practitioner is there to make sure you understand everything you've been told about diabetes, and to help you learn to self manage your diabetes. A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has an advanced education and clinical training in the healthcare specialty area.

What can a nutritionist/dietitian do for me?

A registered dietitian (RD/P.Dt) is a person with specialized training in nutrition and has extensive knowledge about how your food intake affects your blood glucose levels. A dietitian can help you learn to eat healthily and then review your current meal plan, and make suggestions where needed. Together, you can plan your nutrition goals and steps to achieve those goals.

What can a pharmacist do for me?

A pharmacist is your expert on prescription and over-the-counter drugs. You can go in and talk to them any time without an appointment. The Canadian Diabetes Association estimates that people with diabetes see their pharmacist six times more often than they see their family doctor.

Your pharmacist can tell you:

  • If a medication you're taking will interact with any other medications
  • What side effects you might have from certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs
  • Which medications and diabetes care products are paid for by various drug plans, including government-sponsored plans

Your pharmacist can also provide information about blood glucose monitors, lancets and insulin administration equipment.

What can an endocrinologist do for me?

Your family doctor may refer you to medical specialists who can provide in-depth knowledge in very specific areas of medicine. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the endocrine glands, such as diabetes, thyroid conditions and hormonal imbalances. All of the information the endocrinologist gathers is reported back to your family doctor and kept on file with them.