Healthcare professional insulin safety course launched

By Editor
6th June 2017
Education, South West

An online insulin education course has been launched to help healthcare professionals gain enhanced knowledge and promote safe use in the clinical setting.

Understanding Insulin: NEW Free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed by the University of Southampton in collaboration with the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust adult diabetes team.

It took nearly three years to create and will be hosted on the international Future Learn platform. It is a four week online course and the participant can interact with others globally as well as facilitators and mentors.

Insulin is a medication that is associated with anxiety amongst healthcare professionals given its regular mention in high risk drug lists

Dr Mayank Patel, a consultant in diabetes who was part of the Understanding Insulin MOOC project team, said: “We hope to enable healthcare professionals to gain enhanced knowledge in how insulin works and further promote its safe and effective use in the clinical setting. With this MOOC we aim to support NHS England’s plan to improve diabetes care for patients.”

Empowering patients to manage their insulin dosing requirements correctly so that blood glucose concentrations are not too high could help alleviate some of the strain on the NHS. The course was developed to ensure healthcare professionals, patients and carers understand what insulin is and how it works, in order to promote optimal insulin prescribing and administration.

Relevance and interest

The requirement for upskilling healthcare professionals caring for people with diabetes has been recognised globally, and this new education tool aims to contribute to this requirement, providing national and international healthcare professionals with the knowledge they need to manage insulin related issues, such as safe prescribing, factors promoting effective clinical use and how different insulins work in different situations.

Dr Patel added: “Insulin is a medication that is associated with anxiety amongst healthcare professionals given its regular mention in high risk drug lists, as it can cause hypoglycaemia. This course seeks to present information on insulin in a way that will help reduce concerns around its clinical use and promote healthcare professional confidence. Having said that, we wish to be clear that what we offer is for education and is not a replacement for a clinical opinion.

“Given that the vast majority of people with diabetes using insulin will not have regular access to a healthcare professional, the course will also be of relevance and interest to them, by providing an invaluable insight into how insulin is helping them to live well with diabetes.”

By completing the MOOC, the user will be able to describe how insulin works to control blood glucose levels, explain why a lack or reduced effectiveness insulin in diabetes results in high blood glucose levels and how long term high blood glucose levels can lead to complications in diabetes and compare the different types of insulins and their clinical uses.

They will also be able to describe how to prescribe and administer insulin safely, identify the side effects of insulin and other factors that can affects its clinical performance and explain how the safe and correct use of insulin can lead to well controlled diabetes and contribute to a good quality of life.

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