Transition Guide for Diabetic Adolescents: From Pediatric to Adult Diabetes Care Providers
Transitioning from being provided by pediatric to adult diabetes care providers can be very stressful and anxiety-inducing for most teens with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. However, it must be pointed out that the transition process is necessary for these emerging adults to acquire all the needed health care and attention that are compatible and beneficial for their age and current condition. Being assisted and taken care of with the right health care professionals is also vital in the transition process.
As these teens and emerging adults’ age jump up the calendar, so does the need for them to become more independent and take more responsibility in terms of managing their health care needs. In order to alleviate the stress and tension that come with a change in their diabetes care provider, they should be given the knowledge as what is the transition about, what are the needed measures to take, and why is it important.
As a parent, relative, or even the teens themselves, it is helpful to know a thing or two about diabetes and what happens to teens during their adolescence years.
It can turn out to be quite stressful for an individual to transition from pediatric to an adult diabetes care provider. It can turn out to be filled with anxiety as well for such teens suffering from diabetes. But it is also important to point out that this transition is very much necessary for acquiring all the much needed health care as well as the attention which would be beneficial for their age group. Diabetes is basically a medical condition when there is too much of blood sugar found in the body, though it may sound to be quiet a simple but this medical condition is something which has to be taken quiet seriously since it has a high death rate.
There is a lot of discipline as well as hardwork required from the patient for living with this disease. During the adolescent stage, diabetes could be quite a challenging as well as difficult thing in comparison to the later stages of life. The transition phase is one such important phase which the adolescent has to go through. This transition is known to require early preparation on the side of the patient, their families as well as the health care provider. It would also be good if parents encouraged as well as supervise their children to provide full support while they are on their way of self-management.
The transition would require a lot of group effort from the family, the pediatric staff and all who are involved in the healthcare services. There are certain hospitals who also have a special section wherein the young diabetics have to share the same staff along with the other adults. This can be quiet effective in slowly and smooth transitioning into the adult healthcare provider.
Those individuals who are involved in this transition phase should have a lot of patience and they should understand that it takes time for the patient to adjust to the new changes hence they should allow the patient to move in their own pace without any pushing around. They should be able to build up rapport so as to boost the confidence. Also to make things a bit easier those who are involved in the transition should try to educate the adolescent about the symptoms of the medical condition, the type of diabetes and what does it mean and also the treatment method and why it is necessary. There should also be discussion of plans as well as goals so as to avoid any kind of conflict of interest between the individuals who are involved in this phase of transition.
At least a year before let the new health care provider introduce themselves as well as the idea of transition to the patient. Allow the adolescent to be more independent in terms of scheduling their own appointments, routinely checking their blood sugar levels, refilling prescription and so on. Their parents should talk to them about the ill effects of smoking or alcohol. Provide them with names and numbers of those agencies where they can ask for help in future. Discuss things such as meal planning, monitoring of blood glucose level, medical care and exercising. Adolescents should be always encouraged to ask for help hence made to feel alone in this process of transition.