Two nurses with decades of experience visited Lakeville North High School’s STEM Biomedical Science program students to educate them about diabetes.
Julie Stulz, RN, now retired, and Kelly Gueldner, RN, a nurse in the Critical Care Unit at Northfield Hospital, taught the class about several topics regarding diabetes, including what diabetes is, types of diabetes and how to diagnose it.
“Twenty-five million American currently have diabetes and the numbers have been rising steadily since 1980,” Gueldner said.
The nurses also informed students about high blood sugars and how that affects the body.
“There are a lot of risk factors,” said Stulz. “It includes our culture, our diets, processed food, being overweight and there are lots of environmental impacts, too. If you have any risk factors, you need to stay active, eat a healthy balanced diet and manage your high blood pressure.”
They also brought along various pieces of equipment to manage diabetes, and shared how to measure blood sugar and how things have changed.
They showed the class a standard glucometer, a Fitbit-type device and insulin pump.
“I use the pump and don’t feel it at all. I don’t realize it’s there anymore. It’s just something I had to get used,” said STEM Biomed ninth grader Emma Nolan. “It tells me when my insulin is getting low, when my battery is low, and my glucometer can talk to my pump. It figures out how much insulin to give me, which is nice because it’s a lot of math to do.”
“Each piece of equipment gets better and better … you all are getting a little sneak peek that a lot of people don’t know is coming out on the market,” Stulz said.
“This device does everything a fitbit does, but is also an EKG, and measures steps, blood pressure and pulse. It also reads blood sugars through the skin with no poking, and is completely app driven,” Gueldner said. “It would be a gamechanger for a lot of people. And to think things are just going to get better and better.”
The device is not approved by the Federal and Drug Administration yet, but Gueldner said hopefully it will be approved by mid-2018.
Both Stulz and Gueldner invite the public to attend their free Diabetes Support Group at Northfield Hospital every third Tuesday of each month from 7-8 p.m. Attendees will develop a better understanding of diabetes, gain diabetes self-care skills and learn healthy lifestyle habits.
Please visit our website to learn more about the STEM Biomedical Science program and courses.