The patient is a 57 year-old American born female of Hispanic origin who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in early 2012. She is overweight but has managed her condition with diet and exercise to date and continues to maintain stable blood glucose levels, in spite of her culture’s preference for homemade rich and fatty foods. However, the doctor is concerned about her ability to retain stable levels over a long period of time; therefore, he has prescribed Glucophage, also known as metformin, to maintain her blood glucose levels. To begin her Glucophage treatment, the patient has been prescribed 500 mg twice per day and will be monitored regularly to determine if additional dosing is required in the future.
The patient in question has a history of sporadic medication compliance, particularly when she had been prescribed medication in the past for a urinary tract infection. The patient did not complete her antibiotic regimen and the infection became recurrent and required a very long recovery period. This experience was important in demonstrating that her medication compliance to date is not always ideal. Therefore, she requires some degree of specificity with her instructions to take this medication properly in the home environment. The patient has a husband and two college-age children who live at home and commute back and forth to school. Therefore, she has significant emotional and psychological support to ensure that her medication schedule is strictly followed at all times.
For this patient who works full time and balances motherhood and her extracurricular activities in several women’s clubs, medication administration is yet another task that must be completed. However, she must recognize that consistency with her medication regimen will help to manage her diabetes condition for a long time without any type of severe complications. This is expected to create an opportunity for the patient to realize the risks associated with poor medication adherence and to encourage her to take these steps and to develop positive habits in this area because her wellbeing depends on a high level of compliance in order to effectively meet her needs and to maintain stable blood glucose levels for longer periods of time without significant spikes up or down.
In developing a medication treatment plan, it is advised that the medication will be described to the patient in an open discussion, along with any family members that are interested in participating. This is best accomplished in a group setting for newly diagnosed diabetics to discuss options, common symptoms, and routine management of this condition in an effective manner. These achievements are critical to the success of the chosen treatment plan and the opportunities that are available for medication administration over the long term. In an organized class in an open setting such as a clinic, it is likely that attendees will be able to obtain important information regarding diabetes and how to manage the condition as effectively as possible without serious complications. These elements will contribute to a successful class experience and will provide valuable input to all who are involved.
Due to the patient’s Hispanic culture, her family has had a tendency in the past to consume foods loaded with fat and calories that fit into their cultural identity. However, when the patient was diagnosed with diabetes, the family took it upon themselves to provide her with much-needed support and in the process, modified their diets accordingly. Now, the entire family leads healthier lifestyles by participating in family walks whenever possible and other forms of physical activity. In addition, the family now cooks smarter and healthier and avoids heavy amounts of oil, cream, and processed foods in their diets. Therefore, in providing education to the patient regarding her new medication, it is likely that her family will provide significant emotional and psychological support to meet her needs as best as possible, which includes participating in the consumption of healthier food choices.
With a diagnosis of diabetes, the patient faces a continuous uphill battle to improve the management of this condition and to reduce the potential risk of symptoms. Therefore, she must ask questions as necessary and listen to the physician in charge so that the appropriate precautions are taken to manage the disorder more effectively. These efforts will encourage the patient not only to take her medication as directed on a regular basis, but also to consider other options that are available to facilitate improvements in her overall health and wellbeing, which may include such factors as weight loss and improved levels of physical activity. These efforts will encourage the creation of a more stable environment for the patient to take her medication in a consistent manner. In addition, the importance of the medication and its role in stabilizing blood glucose levels must also be addressed so that there are sufficient opportunities to achieve optimal health and wellbeing for this patient, in spite of her diabetes diagnosis.
Educating this patient regarding the importance of taking her medication is critical to her livelihood and wellbeing without significant complications as a result of her diabetic condition. It is important to recognize these needs and to develop new opportunities to meet medication requirements without hesitation or difficulty. The patient cannot afford to miss her medication and to risk instability in her blood glucose levels because this will lead to even greater problems over the long term. These efforts require an effective understanding of the chosen treatment plan, why it is necessary, why it must be followed exactly as prescribed, and what steps are required to ensure that the diabetic condition is managed and stabilized as best as possible.