Uneducated Health Professionals

So I did this health screening at work the other day.  It included: height, weight, BMI calculation, body fat % estimation, cholesterol, BLOOD SUGAR, and blood pressure.  The only reason I did it was because they were giving out free movie tickets to anyone who participated.  After gathering the data, someone reviewed the results and explained their implications.  I don't know exactly what this lady's qualifications were but she was CLUELESS!  My BG was 158 (after lunch...yay!) which was within their target range (70-180).  I mentioned that I'm a diabetic and the lady was like "no way!"  But you look so good!  I started to explain a few things to her (differences between type 1 & 2) and she said she'd never heard of different types.  Why would they have someone who didn't understand the results explaining them to others?  That's sooooooooooo not safe!  I got my movie tickets, though...now what to see?


Man...that stinks royally.

I had a student write a paragraph about why he doesn't eat candy anymore. Guess what the reason was? His father and brother are diabetic.

I need a plank of wood and a rolling closet, so I can climb in there, shut the door, and bang my head for a while when dealing with situations like this. He's a sweet guy, too. And...I offended him by telling him to check his facts.

Medical professionals are no longer trained (in many situations) to know diddly about T1.

There's this lovely CMA who used to harangue me when I would tell her what my DOCTOR had ordered for my T1 care.

Her: "Aren't you only supposed to be checking four times a day?"

Then I walked out into the receptionista area (misspelling intended), and the medical receptionist, a lovely T2 woman who also happens to be about the size of three humans in width, who "cured" her "diabetes" by getting lap band surgery, said to me, "Well, at least you are taking better care of yourself now."


We were visiting my wife's family in Rochester, NY.    We met up with her father and wife at a restaurant for dinner.  He was a highly respected gynecologist in town.  Before our food arrived I excused myself to test and dose.  When I came back they asked what my blood sugar was.  I told them it was 248.  He said, that's good isn't it?  I just said, "yes, it is".

So just because someone is a medical professional and went to medical school etc. doesn't mean they know jack about type 1 diabetes.  To be fair, it is kind of rare as far as diseases go.

Having someone explaining test results to not know what the test result is saying is indeed scary though.


That's scary news about a GYN, of all people, not knowing about T1.  If my OB/GYN didn't know about T1 when I was pregnant, I would've chosen a different one.  OB/GYN care for a T1 is SO specific.

I have to say- I think I'd be a little offended if he asked me that.  I always feel people are judging me as a person based on the answer I give.  I know it's probably not true - but why are they asking anyway?

[quote user="Crochet Nut"]

I need a plank of wood and a rolling closet, so I can climb in there, shut the door, and bang my head for a while when dealing with situations like this.


nicely put! 

There is a lady I work with who is a T2.  Someone planned to bring in donuts a few months back, and she brought fresh fruit, telling me, "Well, I brought this in since we can't have donuts."  Um, what?  I tried to explain to her that sugar is sugar and I'd have to bolus for it anyway... I think she has no idea what the differences are between our diseases!

lol, oh kim... you mean fruit has sugar?!? no way!  but it's healthy and healthy things can't have sugar... like the vitamins and minerals cancel out the carbs?  sorry for the sarcasm...lol

I know, right?  I had no idea and am soooo glad I have her around to monitor my food intake.  Because, obviously, after 23 years of this disease, I need someone who is not a health professional, nor possesses any sort of helpful knowledge to look after me...  *sigh*  Can you tell she is not my favorite person?  :)

lovingly avoid her...lol... i have a few of those at my work (i'm a nurse at a hospital) and since they think they actually studied it forever ago that they know something about it...i'm at the point now where i just make fun of myself all the time (can we say coping mechanism?) if i'm eating something i'm not "supposed to" i say "it's okay, i'm a non-compliant diabetic...that means i can eat anything i want!"

my boyfriend just picked up some oreos and i told him "be careful, if you eat too many of those you might get the diabetus!" fortunately he's actually educated on it (by me) and knows i'm kidding!

I wish it were that simple... she sits right next to me and we share job duties!!  I think joking about it really is the only way to deal with most people who don't know any better...  I actually try to plan my snacks around this woman, so that I'm eating when she's not at her desk.  I really don't need the judgemental looks and comments!

yikes!  just remember you don't need her approval.  you do this for you, not for her.

Recently, I've been trying to be more patient w/ uneducated health professionals and trying to educate them rather than just being angry. (ex, to allergist at major medical center -- "No, I can't stop taking my insulin to avoid the allergy I get at my injection sites. I have type ONE diabetes, meaning my body makes no insulin, so I would die..." Sigh.) But, seriously, I'm trying to have a more friendly attitude so maybe they won't say stupid things to others in the future.

I find that the more educated people tend to be more willing to admit they don't know about D and to ask me questions. Some even say, "Well, you know more about this than I do, so how would that affect your BS?" But, I find that people who have less medical knowledge like to act like they know EVERYTHING. (e.g. former coworker who was a nurse in a different country ten years ago, etc.). After giving birth (for those who haven't been pregnant ... I had been taking major amounts of insulin due to insulin resistance prior to birth, so for 1-2 days after birth, I needed no insulin, or maybe 1-2 units of Lantus, to avoid major lows) a nursing assistance came in to inform me my blood sugar had been WAY too high at 150 and that I better see a doctor to get it under control. I was so hormonal and annoyed that I refused to tell ANYONE my blood sugars unless they were the residents checking on me from endocrinology.

Sorry for this rant, but I'm sure like everyone on here, I've had way too many experiences with uninformed medical people. :P I know there is sooo much medical information to understand nowadays, but I think the professional thing to do is to admit when you don't know something rather than making it up. It makes you more credible b/c then when you DO give advice, the patient can trust that it's true.

[quote user="Sarah"]

 but I think the professional thing to do is to admit when you don't know something rather than making it up. It makes you more credible b/c then when you DO give advice, the patient can trust that it's true.


I agree totally! no one can know everything!  admit it when you don't know and ask questions.  Don't pretend you know something when you don't.  it's not safe or professional or nice.  you can hurt others and yourself!