We chat with Amanda Dunne, a registered nurse in private practice about managing the disease.
What do you do?
I am a registered nurse who has specialised in diabetes. I am now in private practice doing the following: diabetic education consultation (46 minutes plus), specimen collection, observations, injections (own stock), simple wound care, nebulisations, enemas, catheterisations, syringing of ears, and general care consultations at your home.
Who would you say your service caters to specifically?
Anyone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic.
When and how did your medical journey begin? What inspired you to embark on this journey?
I always wanted to be a nurse. My mother and grandmother were both nurses and I love caring for people. I never imagined being a diabetic nurse though, I always wanted to do pediatrics.
What prompted your decision to focus on diabetes?
I arrived in East London in 2014 and got a job at Intercare Gonubie. I saw the need for a baby clinic there, but they needed a CDE-registered diabetic nurse for their CDE programme. So, they sent me for the five-day advanced diabetes course. Diabetes can be overwhelming for most medical practitioners, let alone patients so when I had the knowledge, I was able to assist so many with their disease and it became my passion.
What does the public need to know before booking a consultation with you?
They can have the world of knowledge about diabetes or they can know nothing — I see them all. It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours. I guide diabetics, both type one and type two, with regards to what diabetes is, what complications to expect and how to avoid them, how oral medications and other injectables work, diet guidelines, exercise, how different insulins work, injection techniques, and timing of injections. I also do carb counting, insulin sensitivity ratios, and insulin carb ratios to maximise the efficacy of the patient’s specific insulin. I guide patients about medical aid issues and possible co-payments.
What are some of the biggest pros and cons in your line of work?
The pros are working with patients who take responsibility for their disease. The cons are working with patients who don’t take that responsibility and medical aids that dictate what the patients should be taking, regarding medications and injectables. Another con is not having enough money to go out into the public sector and educate there.
What advice or tips do you have for someone who is interested in a similar line of business?
Get educated. There are so many online courses you can do and education is priceless.
What qualification do you hold? Are there any particular skills one needs to be able to do what you do?
I have a B.Cur degree from (Nelson Mandela University, formerly-known-as) UPE and then the five-day advanced course. I was joined by dieticians, biokineticists, doctors, physiotherapists and other allied health colleagues. You need to be compassionate and have empathy, as well as a listening ear )in this line of work).
What are some of your goals for this year and going forward?
I want to educate as many people as I can, while making a living to support my son and nephew.
Is there anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Take care of yourself. You may not feel the impact of this disease in your daily life now but if it is uncontrolled, it will lead to a very miserable, sickly future. It is not an illness where the doctor prescribes a pill, and you take it and all is better. But you are not alone. There are many people in the community that can help you on your journey. For example, the Diabetes Association of SA holds monthly talks that you can attend for free and get more information about your disease.
How can our readers get hold of you? (contact details and social media)
I am available on 083-380-4965 (preferably WhatsApp, as not to disturb my consultations)
Facebook: Sr Mandy Dunne