An online safety course has been launched in a bid to ease healthcare professionals’ ‘anxiety’ about insulin.
Understanding Insulin: NEW Free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which was developed by a team in Southampto, is supposed to “enhance safety knowledge” and “promote safe use in the clinical setting”.
Dr Mayank Patel, a consultant in diabetes who was part of the Understanding Insulin MOOC project team, said: “Insulin is a medication that is associated with anxiety amongst healthcare professionals given its regular mention in high-risk drug lists, as it can cause hypoglycemia.”
The four-week online course will allow healthcare professionals to interact with other participants from around the world. The new resource will provide information on safe prescribing, factors promoting effective clinical use and how different insulins work in different situations.
Dr Patel added: “This course seeks to present information on insulin in a way that will help reduce concerns around its clinical use and promote healthcare professional confidence. Having said that, we wish to be clear that what we offer is for education and is not a replacement for a clinical opinion.
“Given that the vast majority of people with diabetes using insulin will not have regular access to a healthcare professional, the course will also be of relevance and interest to them, by providing an invaluable insight into how insulin is helping them to live well with diabetes.”
Once the MOOC has been completed, participants should be able to understand better how insulin works to control blood sugar levels. They will also be able to identify insulin side effects and explain how safe control can have a positive impact on a person’s health.
The University of Southampto, in collaboration with the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust adult diabetes team, developed the course, which took three years to complete.
Dr Patel added: “We hope to enable healthcare professionals to gain enhanced knowledge in how insulin works and further promote its safe and effective use in the clinical setting. With this MOOC we aim to support NHS England’s plan to improve diabetes care for patients.”

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