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Local diabetes nurse best in Australia

West Moreton Health’s first Diabetes Nurse Practitioner/Navigator, Kay Dean, has won the national 2020 Jan Baldwin Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) of the Year Award.

The award was announced on World Diabetes Day on Saturday 14 November and recognises Ms Dean’s dedication to care while providing specialised diabetes advice.

Ms Dean was earlier named 2020 Queensland CDE of the Year.

She said it was an honour to be recognised, and the win was a reflection of the “fantastic Diabetes team here at West Moreton Health”.

Ms Dean started at West Moreton Health’s Diabetes Service in 2013 as a trainee educator.

“In April this year I became endorsed as a Nurse Practitioner and was successful in becoming the first Diabetes Nurse Practitioner at Ipswich Diabetes Service,” she said.

As a Nurse Practitioner/Navigator, Ms Dean provides a vital link between clients and doctors.

She assesses and manages clients, provides referrals to other healthcare professionals, prescribes medication and orders diagnostic investigations.

Ms Dean works with clients who have been referred by GPs, which is how she met client David Brown.

Mr Brown, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in November 2019, was referred to the Ipswich Diabetes Service where he diagnosed with Type 1 late-onset diabetes.

Mr Brown attributed his symptoms of rapid weight loss, fatigue and “getting cotton-woolly” in the head to a stressful new job.

“To combat the weight loss and fatigue, I started eating more, including high calorie and sugary foods,” Mr Brown said.

“I was consuming up to 9500 kilojoules a day. I lost more weight, I was more tired and fell asleep in the gym more than once.

“Looking back, I remember being unbelievably thirsty all the time. I would drink big glasses of water and still feel thirsty.

“It was only when I literally collapsed at my desk in late November from what felt like pure exhaustion that I realised there was something wrong,” Mr Brown said.

Blood tests confirmed Mr Brown had diabetes and he started treatment that had immediate results.
After what he thought was “plain sailing” for a few months, he visited Ms Dean who had concerns about his Type 2 diagnosis.

“I submitted another blood test and was subsequently diagnosed with Type 1 late-onset diabetes. This rocked my world all over again,” he said.

Working with Ms Dean since July, Mr Brown has started a new treatment plan and his blood glucose levels have become more stable.

“I’ve had no other symptoms through the Type 1 diagnosis or treatment and feel great.”

Mr Brown said Ms Dean helped him manage his diabetes and kept in regular contact to monitor his progress.

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