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Midwifery and diabetes

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Katemcl, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. Katemcl

    Katemcl · Newbie

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    I’ve had type one diabetes for about 12 years now and I’m just finishing a psychology degree and really want to go into midwifery. However, everyone I speak to says it’s a bad idea because of the shift work? I’m absolutely heartbroken and so confused because I’ve never let my diabetes hold me back and I’d hate for it to ruin something I can see myself loving. I’d love any advice because I’m so stuck.
     
  2. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Have you spoken to T1s about this? What's your dosing regime? (Pump or basal/bolus?) I can see that the stress associated with shift work might make your sugars go up but I don't really see why you shouldn't do it, particularly if you can qualify for some extra help such as a cgm so you can avoid hypos while in the middle of a delivery....

    Googling "t1 diabetes shift work" suggests that there are plenty of people out there doing it successfully, but you do need to feel confident about managing your doses etc.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. Katemcl

    Katemcl · Newbie

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    Im not on the pump but my blood sugars are well controlled and I’ve just chosen to stay on the injection because it seems to work for me! But i’ll have a look in cgms and see if that makes it any easier!! Thank you
     
  4. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi,

    In as few words as possible. Don't be put off, there will be a fair few T1s only too glad you wear the "Tee shirt." :)
     
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  5. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    @Katemcl - ask the Royal College of Mursing if there are any barriers. I do not think there are - and a T1 midwife could really help women at an emotional time.
     
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  6. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    @Katemcl - I'm not T1, nor am I a midwife, but to be frank, I'd never make a decision based purely on what some other person said. I'm cussed like that.

    Many T1 folks have commented on shift work, and the associated shift in eating patterns, and therefore some adjustments to insulin being required. Some T1s find that pumping can help them, as they can adjust their protocols for basal requirements on a programmed basis for their various shifts. I'm assuming you're talking earlies, lates and night shifts?

    Of course, all that's very easy for me to say, but I'd urge you not to let T1 or anything else deflect you from your dream without a decent fight. You owe it to yourself. Good on you for having aspirations and ambitions, outside your current comfort zone.
     
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  7. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    From a purely theoretical point of view, if you've got your basal right it shouldn't matter when you eat/work, as you just have your bolus whenever you eat...

    There are a few jobs which really aren't suited to T1s (astronaut, army?) but there are certainly T1 doctors out there, and they must have to do shift work, even if only when they're qualifying.
     
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  8. SimonCrox

    SimonCrox · Well-Known Member

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    One of my patients was an ambulance driver on basal bolus. We kept a log of his shifts initially to show that he managed the job OK (which he did) and no hypos and then he just got on with it. The only special trick was to inject after rather than before food cos of the risk of injecting and then being called away from his food. A very dedicated guy.
    Good luck and best wishes
     
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  9. Trinnyco

    Trinnyco Type 1 · Newbie

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    I'm type 1 and a student midwife so can safely say it's possible! :) I do find it easier to eat a low carb/keto diet which is personal preference as it keeps my blood sugars more predictable and stable throughout 12 hour shifts. I have gone through times of having the libre sensor which is helpful on placement but not a necessity. I always have dextrose in my pocket just in case. Also if you find that you struggle with nights - don't worry - occupational health are there and can sign you off nights if blood sugars are too unpredictable. Don't let the shifts hold you back, it is an exciting career with many roles that do not involve long/night shifts! Good luck! Feel free to message me if you have any midwifery specific questions x
     
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  10. Amelia_T1

    Amelia_T1 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hey, I’m T1, mum of 2 and a student nurse. I’m currently not on placement so doing quite a few bank shifts on a night.
    It is definitely manageable so don’t let anyone put you off!
    I actually find my blood sugars are more stable on a night as I don’t tend to eat much. I eat tea before I go to work and then snack on low carb food if hungry on a night such as blueberries or egg muffins. sometimes I have some cereal in the morning.
    I’ve recently got the freestyle libre which definitely helps me keep check on my sugars and minimises the need for finger pricks/ bloody fingers on the ward.
    Hope this helped and good luck x
     
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  11. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    If you're confident managing your diabetes in unexpected out of routine situations there is no reason at all it would be a problem being a midwife.
    Go ahead and become the best midwife you can imagine!
     
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  12. Acy25789

    Acy25789 · Newbie

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    I’m T1 and I’m in my final year of my midwifery degree. I’m a pump user but I’ve never had a problem with shift work.

    Nights are fine as long as I have a break (which students always get - qualified mw’s not so much!) and I have to eat breakfast before I head to sleep but other than that I’ve never had a problem.

    Tutors and mentors are always really supportive and they ensure you get all the help/support you need.

    I’ve never been one to let diabetes dictate what I do with my life. Go and chase your dream, god knows we need all the midwives we can get! X
     
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  13. flozac

    flozac Type 1 · Member

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    I have been type1 for 40 years and I have worked as a nurse then midwife for 35 years. It has never affected my work. I was on injections initially then over the last 10 years on a pump. I have worked all shift patterns short days, long days nights etc part time and full time.
    It is very manageable as long as you let the people around you know that you are type 1 and you may have to ram a mars bar down your throat or a glass of orange juice at busy times. just to get you through a shift with no breaks or before a delivery or going to theatre etc. You can do it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
     
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  14. flozac

    flozac Type 1 · Member

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    Oh and there are at least 3 other type 1 staff working on our unit. So you are not alone in this.
     
  15. kikiwg

    kikiwg Type 2 · Newbie

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    HI I AM A MIDWIFE AND A TYPE 2 DIABETIC ON INSULIN
    it wont be easy shifts are 12 hrs long and you have to fight to get a break to eat and drink, due to pressure of work and staffing levels, once qualified .
    its stressful which in combination with shifts and poor diet doesnt help glucose control , in fact my Diabetes was never well controlled until i took early retirement 5 yrs ago now i work 2 days a week .
    its a great job but you have to ask yourself is it worth the personal cost ?
    lastly midwives have poor understanding of Diabetes its not their speciality , so dont expect understanding
     
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    #15 kikiwg, Apr 11, 2019 at 9:56 PM
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
  16. CathyCampbell

    CathyCampbell · Newbie

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    I am a midwife and love it. I have type 1 and have worked as a midwife for 4.5 years. I don’t do night duty but do long days which are grand. I am on an insulin pump, and so reduce my basal rate when working. If you’re on injections long acting or boluses may just need to be reduced when working. You will find what works for you but I love it! Just make sure you’re seen with occ health and don’t do nights- nights cause chaos with blood sugars!
     
  17. teddy2702

    teddy2702 · Member

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    Hi
    I have been a diabetic for 51 years and i am a trained nurse SRN qualified in 1983. I can honestly say that i have never had any problems with my diabetes. I worked days and night shifts. My dad tried to put me off the job because of the nights but i was determined to do the nursing.
    Dont let anybody persuade you into changing. Stand firm and go for it. x
    Janet
     
  18. grabarry

    grabarry Type 2 · Member

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    Being a type 2 I used to work shift work and I worked alongside type 1s also never seemed to be a barrier.
    Teresa May is a type 1 and nobody works longer shifts than her.
     
  19. laurashore25

    laurashore25 · Newbie

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    Hey I work I’m a staff nurse in an A&E department, I work shifts and won’t lie I do struggle sometimes, due mostly to the chaos A&E creates, skipping breaks etc. But over all, it’s manageable and as long as your honest with your colleagues and act when you know you don’t feel right, it’s fine!
    Plus as a type 1 diabetic, I’d be so happy to know that my midwife knew exactly what it’s like to live with diabetes! It definitely gives you more empathy and understanding!
    Do it! You won’t regret it!
    Laura xx
     
  20. bgst

    bgst Type 1 · Member

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    There are many T1s who successfully work shifts - just got to be even more diligent about testing and maintaining control. If you choose to do it I am sure you will be able to find a way to do it. Definitely thing CGM could help. Go for it!
     
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