HumanInsight Diabetes nurse practitioners in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges, insights, and suggestions for improvement
J Nurs Scholarsh. 2021 Dec 1. doi: 10.1111/jnu.12754. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The study examined the role of diabetes nurse practitioners (DiNPs) and their contribution to the quality of care of individuals with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we examined the benefits and barriers of using telemedicine for managing diabetes.
DESIGN: A descriptive qualitative research using content analysis of interviews.
METHODS: Participants were invited through the National DiNPs’ Forum. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 24 licensed DiNPs (age range, 37-58 years) who were involved in the clinical care of individuals with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The interviews were recorded and transcribed, and content analysis was then used for extracting themes and their related categories.
FINDINGS: Content analysis revealed five themes: (a) Benefits and barriers of remote diabetes treatment; (b) Teamwork and its implications to DiNPs; (c) Technological challenges, resourcefulness, and creativity; (d) Changed perception of DiNP roles; and (e) Cultural diversity and improving communication skills. The benefits of telemedicine included improved control, efficiency, convenience and satisfaction, while the disadvantages of this method included the inability to provide optimal practical guidance on technical aspects of physical assessments and care. Sectors with limited digital literacy and language barriers had difficulties using telemedicine. Teamwork was reported as a facilitator to managing treatment. Telemedicine provided an opportunity for DiNPs to become more efficient and focused and to clearly define their role in the organization.
CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges. Along with the need to adapt the therapeutic approach to remote care, DiNPs improved their professional status, acquired new skills, and were satisfied with their personal and professional growth.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Telemedicine should become an integral part of diabetes management to enable access to populations who cannot come to the clinic. Patients should be guided on using telemedicine platforms.
PMID:34854227 | DOI:10.1111/jnu.12754
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