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12 June 2019

Diary of a diabetes nurse

My career as a nurse began 17 years ago. I like taking care of people and supporting them in difficult times. I trained in the Czech Republic and then spent a few years working in IC thoracic surgery. In 2008 I came to the Netherlands where I also ended up working in the thoracic surgery department, with the last few years in the role of senior nurse. Although I have a great passion for care in general, chronic care is what appeals to me the most. It’s supporting people for a longer period of time and helping them with the challenges they encounter. That’s how I ended up working with people with diabetes.

Becoming a diabetes nurse

I completed a post-graduate course in diabetes nursing in the Netherlands. I have been working as a diabetes nurse for six years now. First at a university medical centre and currently at the Franciscus Vlietland hospital. Working as a diabetes nurse for me is very rewarding. You have intensive and long-term contact with the people you treat. I have the opportunity to provide individual care by involving my patients in the care and making a plan together with them. Through this long-term contact, you can really build a relationship with people and in some cases even friendships!

Everyone is different

The diversity in the people I treat is very special. Everyone needs something different, has different needs, and has a different outlook on life. Some people are cautious and only tell you what they think you want to hear. You need to be able to see beyond that and help them open up. Others find it difficult to come to terms with their chronic disease, so you need to take a different approach. I understand that. One of the most difficult things about diabetes care is that sometimes you don’t have control over the situation. No matter how well you do, and no matter hard you try, some consequences and complications just can’t be avoided.

I believe it is important in diabetes care that the decision on treatment should be made together with the person with diabetes. I also consider it extremely important to keep a close eye on the developments in the field of diabetes care, and believe it’s not only important to ensure good values but also a good quality of life.

About Zuzana

My name is Zuzana. I am from the Czech Republic and I have been living and working in the Netherlands for 11 years now. I have a family and two cats – one of which has diabetes as well. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and the cats, and I love taking part in sport, cooking, and travelling.