Nurses’ knowledge of blood glucose levels and the management of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia: a descriptive study

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Abstract

Diabetes has been among the leading causes of mortality, morbidity and disability around the world. Literature indicates that patient education is vital for diabetes control and management. However, research has shown that nurses’ (who are at the forefront of care) knowledge of diabetes is variable and not sufficient in the researched populations.

This study sought to identify and describe the level of diabetes knowledge and the management of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia among nursing staff of a tertiary teaching hospital in South Australia.

A descriptive study design was used with structured observation to gather data on blood glucose monitoring practice and a survey to obtain information on the level of knowledge of diabetes as data collection methods. A convenience sample of nurses, who were directly involved in the provision of care for diabetic patients was observed during blood glucose monitoring and were given a questionnaire to be completed.

Approval for the study was gained from the hospital’s Research Ethics Committee. The observation checklist and the survey questionnaire were scored by hand and entered into SPSS and reviewed for data entry accuracy. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data. Non-parametric statistics were used to compare the knowledge scores between the mentioned groups since the data were not normally distributed. Pearson product-moment coefficient was used to describe the strength and direction of correlation between selected variables.

Twenty nurses completed the questionnaire and 32 nurses were observed during their practice. The results of this study showed that the demographic data were not correlated with higher knowledge scores or higher observation scores. However, a statistically significant, positive correlation was found between hospital accreditation for blood glucose monitoring and practices score.

It is recommended that this study be replicated in other units of the hospital to see whether the same results could be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages6
JournalMadridge Journal of Nursing
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2017

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