Registered Nurse Rachael Priest Awarded Diabetes Nurse Bursary to Improve Patient Outcomes

20 October 2023
The Wesley Hospital staff member assisting older lady walking on crutches.

Registered Nurse Rachael Priest has been announced as the recipient of the Diabetes Nurse Bursary, a prestigious scholarship that will further her education and practical knowledge as she works towards being a Clinical Diabetes Nurse Educator.

Generously funded by a hospital donor, this bursary emphasises the importance of supporting patients living with diabetes, advocating for them and improving their healthcare outcomes.

Rachael's dedication to her patients is apparent in her commitment to implementing early intervention strategies, aiming to prevent the onset of diabetes or to prevent complications and improve health outcomes.

Drawing from personal experiences within her own family, where both her mother and daughter have type two diabetes and she herself had gestational diabetes, Rachael has a deep understanding of the significance of effective diabetes management.

Through the Diabetes Nurse Bursary, Rachael will undergo an extensive 1000 hours of training under a credentialed Clinical Diabetes Nurse Educator to receive the title herself.

This additional expertise will enable her to improve health literacy and enhance patient outcomes, particularly for high acuity patients with multiple coexisting illnesses.

Rachael highlights the detrimental consequences of poorly managed diabetes, which can lead to various complications such as cardiovascular health issues and kidney disease.

"Contrary to popular belief, diabetes does not solely arise from lifestyle choices or genetic predisposition," she said.

"Patients can develop diabetes while being treated for other medical conditions, including pancreatic disorders or different types of cancer.

"The prolonged use of medications like steroids is linked with an increased risk of diabetes development.

"Middle-aged women, especially those who have a history of gestational diabetes are particularly at risk, of such diseases and it is important we as clinicians are aware of the risk factors."

For patients who develop diabetes while in the hospital, their journey becomes even more challenging. These individuals experience added stress during their stay and often require extended hospitalisation periods. Rachael acknowledges the crucial need for comprehensive support in such cases.

Expressing her gratitude for the Diabetes Nurse Bursary, Rachael emphasises that without this assistance, she would not have been able to pursue further studies while simultaneously working.

She eagerly anticipates officially commencing her training as a Diabetes Nurse Educator in March 2024.

As Rachael embarks on this transformative journey, we will keep the community informed about her progress and the positive impact she will undoubtedly have on diabetes management and patient care.

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