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Cheryl Armstrong, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator (CDE), has been with Sharp Rees-Stealy's diabetes program since 2006. She received her nursing degree from Palomar College and bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix.
How did you choose to work in the diabetes field?
After being diagnosed with diabetes as a child, I knew I wanted to become a diabetes educator. I wanted to give back the great education and care that I had received. As a person with diabetes, I can relate to my patients in regards to what it’s like living with diabetes. I truly enjoy working and helping people manage their diabetes.
What do you do in your role at Sharp Rees-Stealy as a certified diabetes educator?
As an RN and CDE, I have individual appointments with patients who have Type 1, Type 2 or gestational diabetes. As a part of the appointment, I review blood glucose patterns, medication and insulin administration, as well as discuss goal setting. I assist the physicians in managing at-risk patients with high blood sugars. I also work with insulin pumps and continuous glucose meters. Our department also offers diabetes self-management classes.
How do you help your patients succeed in managing their chronic disease?
One of the ways I can help is by providing patients with self-management skills. People with diabetes need to know how they can best manage their diabetes because diabetes never takes a break. It’s important to know what to do when you are sick or how to manage high or low blood sugars.
I also give my patients credit for the small things such as testing blood sugars or taking a walk, and remind them to never give up!
What is the key to self-managing a chronic disease?
I think the key to self-management is having a supportive system such as your family and friends or health care providers. These are people that can provide that much needed support and love. However, people with diabetes need to inform their loved ones how they can help.
How do you stay healthy?
I eat well-balanced meals, drink lots water and get plenty of sleep to keep healthy. I like to go for walks during the day plus, it’s a great stress reliever!
For More Information
To learn more or to speak with someone to determine if you're eligible to participate in a Sharp Rees-Stealy disease management program, please call 619-446-1571, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
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1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.
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