Basically, a CDE is a person that has a health care background, in addition to having extensive knowledge about the causes, prevention and management of diabetes.
Having a diabetic educator nearby is vital to support individuals with diabetes, they can help you understand the condition, and effectively help you manage blood sugar levels, through treatment and lifestyle changes. A CDE will be able to equip people with diabetes with the skills and tools necessary to not only control their diabetes, but also to avoid any possible long-term negative effects, due to poorly treated hyperglycemia.
A certified diabetic educator is able to spend, as much time as needed with clients/patients, to offer education, answer questions and offer emotional support to diabetics and family members. This important aspect of a CDE is what sets them apart from an Endocrinologist, who usually does not have the time to offer personal support to newly diagnosed diabetic patients.
Once certified, a diabetic educator can work independently in a medical office, pharmacies, health clinics and other institutions that provide quality diabetic education to the general public.
What you need to know to become a diabetic educator
Diabetic educators are in high demand, because of the worldwide growth of this disease. Individuals need to be properly educated and given accurate, up-to-date information to help them manage their diabetes, and live a long and healthy life.
Before you will be able to help thousands of individuals with diabetes, you must obtain an education and a Master’s degree in the health care field. Once schooling has been completed, you will need to have two years of work-related experience, such as a doctor, pharmacist, RN (registered nurse), exercise physiologist, or dietitian.
You must hold a regular position, equivalent to a 35 hour work week; that specifically treats individuals that suffer with diabetes.
After the above criteria’s are met, you can sit for the exam (which is offered at various locations every six months). Dates and locations can be found the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators website.
The exam costs approximately $350, and this fee is nonrefundable, even if you fail. The time allotted to complete this exam will be four hours, and there should be 200 questions that need to be completed.
Once you have passed the exam, you should maintain your certification by way of continuing education credits.