Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Janie Carlton

Abstract

Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death world-wide claiming a staggering 3.8 million lives globally each year to related complications (World Health Organization, 2011). Diabetes complications account for 20% of all acute care admissions or 1 in every 5 patients have a diabetes-related condition (American Diabetes Association, 2011). Patient education in the areas of lifestyle modification, healthy eating habits, and proper medication administration is research-supported to clinically decrease the likelihood of acute complications. Bedside, acute care nurses are at the front line of patient education delivery and have the opportunity to determine behavioral stages related to a patient's readiness to change. The primary nurse can furthermore evoke a sense of relationship between the acute complication and the importance of preventative action and maintenance through bridging these knowledge fundamentals. This descriptive study sought to identify knowledge gaps and inconsistencies in the delivery of diabetes self-care education to patients in the acute care setting. The study was conducted using a convenience sampling of acute care nurses surveyed for their perceived versus actual diabetes knowledge using the Diabetes Self-Reporting Tool (DSRT) and the Diabetes Basic Knowledge Tool (DBKT). Although their perceived knowledge was closely relative to their actual knowledge about the disease, extreme gaps in current and accurate knowledge were identified.