RCN Diabetes Nursing Forum News

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<ul><li><p>Welcome to the first of a regular update on the activities of the RCN Diabetes Nursing Forum. We would like to thank Practlcrrl D/abetes /nfem8tiona/for the opportunity to share our news with readers; this issue will introduce the Forum, and future issues will brlng you more specific details of our activities. </p><p>WHAT IS THE DIABETES NURSING FORUM (DNF)? The DNF is an RCN Membership Group open to all nurses who belong to the RCN at no extra cost. There are about 8,000 members at present, including nurses from many different fields of practice as well as diabetes specialist nurses. This is an important strength, ensuring that we do not lose sight of the fact that people with diabetes may be cared for by nurses in every specialty and reminding others of the role of diabetes specialist nurses in influencing the practice of other nurses. Although the seven-strong elected Steering Group is made up of diabetes specialist nurses, the Forums activities and publications reflect the generalidspecialist nurse membership. </p><p>WHAT DOES THE DNF OFFER? The DNF offers a twice yearly newsletter Resume, an annual conference which addresses current issues (usually held in April), and access to the expertise and network of nurses working in the speciality; also, importantly, a voice within nursing as a whole. As an entity within the Royal College, the Forum has been Invited to represent diabetes nursing on a number of national multi-organisation working groups on issues such as guidelines, qualii assurance in diabetes, and education and training of </p><p>other health professionals. In addition, we have six voting places at RCN Congress and this year we will be launching our Sharps Disposal Campaign during this event. </p><p>The Forum has produced a number of publications and these are set to increase overthe coming year. Currently available are: </p><p>Diabetes Clinical Guidelines for Practice Nurses Guidelines on the premixing andpreloading of insulin by </p><p>community nurses forpatients to give at a later time The Role of the Diabetes Specialist Nurse Role of the Nurse Specialising in Paediatric Diabetes. </p><p>Our Conference 1998, Making Things Happen, was held on 3-4 April this year and addressed a number of issues including those reported below. A report on our Sharps Disposal Campaign as well as other activities will appear in the next issue. Meanwhile, if you have issues to raise about diabetes nursing or wish to know more about the Forum, please contact me, c/o Anne Synnott, 5th Floor, RCN, Cavendish Square, London. W1M OAB. </p><p>Rosemary Walker RON FETC Chair, RCN DNF </p><p>MAKING THINGS HAPPEN Notes from the RCN D/abetes Nursing Forum Conlimnce, Nottlngham, 3-4 ApdI7998 </p><p>The keynote address which opened this conference encapsulated the theme of the talks and discussions over the two days -how diabetes specialist nurses can prove their worth. Two specialist nurses who job-share, Sue Hamliton and Jo Butler (Ruehampton, London) gave the keynote talk. </p><p>Role of the DSN The DSNs role is multifactorial. Conventionally, she acts as cliical expert, teacher, counsellor, manager and sometimes researcher. Unconventionally, her role also encompasses con- fidante, approachable resource, leader, innovator, lateral thinker and politician. With such an all-encompassing role, why do diabetes specialist nurses constantly feel the need to redefine their role? They should have confidence in themselves and their abiliies, and use the Forum as a supportive body for their endeavours in their chosen field of work. </p><p>The DSN as researcher It isvery easyfordiabetesspecialist nurses tocarry out qualitative research. A questionnaire can be a piece of research structured </p><p>around the experiences of the nurse; conversely, experience can stimulate research. Nurse training now encourages research and nurses should seek guidance on how to do it by attending courses or asking advice of people who hve published already. Research, once completed, needs to be communicated to others. Nurses can do this most easily by publishing their work or by speaking andlor displaying posters at conferences. </p><p>Amongst the many suggested topics available to nurses to speak or write about are: blood glucose monitoring policies, practice nurse education, link nurse groups, their own degree projects, job-sharing, insulin pump experience, protocols for hypoglycaemia, BDA (and other) camps. The list is endless - confidence in ones own abiliies is what is needed to make it happen. </p><p>The Royal college of Nursing: Tlte Voice of Nursing 20 Cavendish Square, London W1 M OAB. Telephone: 01 71 409 333 Fax: 0171 647 3435 </p><p>94 Practical DiabetesIntemational May 1998 Vol. 15 No. 3 </p></li></ul>


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