Nurses' Perception and Comfort Level with Diabetes Management Practices in Long-Term Care
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OBJECTIVE: Increasing numbers of elderly people in long-term care have diabetes mellitus. We explored nurses' perceptions and level of comfort with current diabetes management of patients in long-term care. METHODS: A mixed-methods approach using a cross-sectional survey design, including both quantitative and open-ended questions, was used. The licensed nurses employed in 9 long-term care homes in southwestern Ontario were surveyed. The survey explored nurses' comfort with managing diabetes, detecting hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, glucose monitoring guidelines, and insulin administration and training. RESULTS: Of 301 nurses invited (130 registered nurses [RNs], 171 registered practical nurses [RPNs]), 165 nurses (77 RNs and 88 RPNs) responded (165 of 280, 59% response rate). Nurses were female (93.3%); their mean age was 45.3 years (SD 11.7). Most noted that the medication administration system and guidelines regarding diabetes management were adequate; RPNs were more comfortable administering insulin than RNs (p=0.048). CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest RNs and RPNs have different comfort levels and perceptions of diabetes management.
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