Lucille Hughes, RN, BSN, CDE, CPT, Certified Insulin Pump Trainer at Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center, is a Registered Nurse and Certified
Diabetes Educator. Ms. Hughes displays
two different insulin pumps.
he Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop, now in its 22nd year of service, has been
designated an independent Insulin Pump Training Center. Most other insulin pump training sessions on Long Island are part of physicians’ practices.
Winthrop’s Insulin Pump Training Center is unique in that the instructor, Lucille Hughes, RN, BSN, CDE, CPT, is a Certified Pump Trainer, as well as a Registered Nurse and Diabetes Nurse Educator. She will supplement pump training with support of all aspects of diabetes education.
Another unique feature is that all physicians, whether or not on Winthrop’s medical staff, may refer patients to Winthrop’s Diabetes Education Center for insulin pump initiation. Each patient’s medical management will remain the responsibility of his or her own doctor. All that is required to obtain training and the pump is a letter of medical necessity from the
The new infusion system provides medically appropriate people with diabetes an alternative method of administering daily insulin. Instead of the conventional injection, they can use the new, programmable pump. The size of a beeper, it infuses the patient with appropriate amounts of insulin, without an injection. The pump is attached to a belt or pocket, or for women, on a hidden thigh-band.
“Insulin infusion pump therapy has evolved over the last 20 years,” said Ms. Hughes. “The pump can be used by both adults and children. As most patients must administer insulin more than once a day, they can wear the programmable pump for 24 hours per day, pressing buttons at the appropriate times for insulin infusion. For many, it is more convenient than self-injection.
“Children, now so familiar with VCRs and computer games, learn the new technology easily,” added Ms. Hughes. “Of course, we begin with the parents, who must also learn the new system and decide whether it is appropriate for their child.”
People with diabetes are already accustomed to injecting themselves with insulin, in the abdomen,
several times per day. The pump infusion system also requires the insertion of a tiny cannula, or catheter, into the patient’s abdomen. Dwelling within the abdomen, it connects the patient with the system. Every three days, a new abdominal insertion site must be established.
The insulin pump has an interior syringe, which is replaced every three days. The required patient skills — replacing the syringe, programming the pump, and inserting the catheter into the abdomen - are taught by Ms. Hughes on a one-on-one basis.
“In actuality, insulin is pumped into the patient’s body every few minutes, mimicking the activity of the human pancreas. Using the insulin pump, people are
in control of their diabetes. Diabetes no longer controls them. Patients only need to apportion their insulin based on what and when they eat,” concluded
In addition to insulin pump training, many other diabetes education programs are available to the public, both for adults and children. For further information on the Diabetes Education Center at Winthrop, call either Lucille Hughes, RN, BSN, CDE, CPT, Certified Pump Trainer, or Virginia Peragallo-Dittko, RN, MA, CDE, Diabetes Specialist/Program Director, at
(516) 663 - 2350.