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It’s November: What is Your Pharmacy Doing for National Diabetes Month?

  • November 28, 2012
  • RPh on the Go

It’s November: What is Your Pharmacy Doing for National Diabetes Month?

November is National Diabetes Month, and pharmacists can be on the front lines of getting the word out. We’re sure you have your diabetes supplies – blood sugar monitors, test strips, syringes, glucose tabs, and the like – in prominent display for the diabetics who do their business with you already, but do you have anything in place to help people who are undiagnosed know when they should seek treatment?

Offer Diabetes Screenings to Your Customers

If your pharmacy has a clinic, or even if it doesn’t, you can follow the lead of some national pharmacies that are providing free glucose screenings on a walk-in basis. A simple blood test can mean the difference between a person making an appointment with their doctor to get their newly-discovered diabetes under control or that same person going along for years without realizing what havoc untreated diabetes is doing to their body.

Show the Signs

Simple signage around the pharmacy can educate customers about the symptoms of diabetes. Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Frequent urination
  • Extreme hunger
  • Extreme fatigue and irritability

The American Diabetes Association has a more complete list of symptoms for Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes, as well.

Consultation Services

So you’ve got the signs covered. Is your staff able to answer questions from customers about diabetes? Can you consult with customers about proper diabetes monitoring and care? Newly diagnosed diabetics may have questions about how to use their new diabetes testing kits or give themselves injections. If your staff is unable to provide this information directly, does everyone know who to refer customers to for diabetes patient education? Have the names and numbers available for diabetes educators in your area; it would be helpful to tell your customers which ones are covered under their insurance plans, too.

Don’t Forget Diabetes Prevention

Of course, Type 2 diabetes is preventable, so even people who are not currently diabetic can become more proactive about their health this month. Signage can also be used to let your customers know who is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and you can provide educational materials with information about healthy lifestyle changes that can help prevent the disease. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has a collection of educational materials about diabetes prevention and management.

What does your pharmacy do for National Diabetes Month?

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