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The Diabetes Center’s Busy Worker

American writer and lecturer Joseph Campbell once said: “The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves.” Indeed, an educator’s role is not just to impart knowledge, but to make students realize that what they are learning is necessary and beneficial for them. More than just ideas, the knowledge that educators teach is something applicable to the learners’ lives.

Such is the role of diabetes educators, too. With the knowledge and strategies they have learned through training, diabetes educators try their very best to help provide the best possible care for their patients.

Gloria Rivera, a registered nurse, is one among the many Filipino diabetes educators dedicated to the cause of providing better health care to patients by helping them help themselves.

Rivera, endearingly called “Ate Glo”, believes in the idea that her role as a diabetes educator is not merely that of becoming an “expert” who provides information, but a “facilitator” who helps diabetic patients learn what they need to know and supports them as they cope with their condition.

According to Rivera, dealing with patients is not an easy task. Aside from needing to be equipped with proper professional training, continuing education, individual study, and mentorship, diabetes educators need to master the attitude of compassion and patience in dealing with patients, who may find it hard to comply with proper practices, and can even be stubborn. “There are patients with difficult feelings, and we need to assess and observe them first before education planning,” she adds.

Rivera’s commitment to providing education for diabetic patients has led her to become a part of the Diabetes Center Philippines (formerly known as the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation, Inc.), an organization with a threefold objective; first, to educate the public on the perils of diabetes; second, to establish diabetes teaching clinics; and third, to improve the quality of life of persons with diabetes.

Rivera works at the Diabetes Center as executive officer, in charge of coordinating groups and committees for their activities, such as the annual intensive training course for diabetes educators, the summer diabetes camp for kids, the diabetes awareness week, lectures, assemblies, and other events. She sees to it that these are delivered well.

After her 30-year stint at the medical department of San Miguel Corporation, working for the Diabetes Center has been a different kind of experience for her. She feels complete and successful whenever she is able to contribute to the activities of the Center, as well as share her knowledge with diabetic patients to help them live their lives better.

“There is a certain sense of fulfillment with working for the center. We are able to share our knowledge with other diabetes educators, at the same time, help patients in their fight against diabetes!” Rivera shares.

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