This week, Leslie Scott, PhD, APRN, joins us on Making the Rounds. Scott is a pediatric nurse practitioner in pediatric endocrinology at the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, which is ranked 33rd in the country by U.S. News & World Report. In our conversation, she dives into why she's so passionate about diabetes education and debunks prevalent myths about the condition.
Why did you decide to educate others about diabetes?
My mother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 10. She spent her whole life growing up with Type 1 diabetes. I remember, as a child, she would tell me things that she wasn't able to do as a child because of her Type 1 diabetes. She wasn't able to participate in a lot of school activities or school parties. They actually told her she wasn't able to have children because of her diabetes.
I learned in nursing school that a lot of that was due to lack of education at the time. I decided that I didn't want another generation of children to grow up thinking the way that my mother grew up and being told you can't. I want to make sure that children are able to do what everybody else does and work diabetes into their life, rather than working their life around their diabetes.
What are some other common misconceptions about diabetes?
A lot of folks believe that folks with diabetes shouldn’t participate in sports. They’re worried about their medicines. They don’t want them to participate in overnight trips.
I think it’s more about community knowledge and realizing that Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes are two totally different entities. It’s treated differently. We treat diet differently. There’s a lack of understanding of the impact.
Tell us about one of the most meaningful things to happen to you as a provider.
I had a young lady who is now a nurse – I was her diabetes educator when she was first diagnosed at 10, which I cannot even believe that I'm old enough to have been her educator that many years ago. But she has told me, "I'm a nurse today because of you." I think that's probably the biggest gift or compliment that has ever been given to me.
Watch our full interview with Leslie Scott to find out more about how the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes works hard to help children and their families learn how to thrive with diabetes.