Patient Care Services  > Diabetes Education 

Diabetes nursed educator with patient

Think you have diabetes?  You're not alone.

Diabetes is a chronic condition which can damage many organs of the body if not controlled. Approximately 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, but only 19 million have been diagnosed.  At least 86 million Americans have prediabetes. Prediabetes raises a person's risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The rate of new diabetes cases has nearly doubled in United States in the last ten years. South Carolina has one of the highest incidences of diabetes. Common signs and symptoms of diabetes include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequency of urination
  • Increased hunger

We can help! Learn more about what we can do for you by contacting one of our Certified Diabetes Educators at Palmetto Health:

Palmetto Health Baptist                                                 Palmetto Health Richland:
803-296-8906                                                               803-434-7027

A physician referral form is required from your physician.

Download Palmetto Health Diabetes Education Physician Referral Form

Outpatient Programs Description

The Outpatient Diabetes Self-Management Programs at Palmetto Health provide quality, comprehensive learning opportunities by Certified Diabetes Nurse Educators and Registered/Licensed Dietitians. Medical social workers also are available to address financial concerns and social support. Nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association, our programs support patients with diabetes as they improve their self-management skills, thereby leading to healthier outcomes. We help children, adolescents, and adults learn a variety of ways to manage diabetes. Instruction is based on the Clinical Practice Recommendations of the American Diabetes Association. Learning to live with diabetes is critical to your health. At Palmetto Health, we help people of all ages learn to take care of themselves and manage this condition, so it doesn't manage them.

What You Can Learn

  • General Diabetes Overview: Understand the definition, pathophysiology and treatment of diabetes
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy: Learn nutrition information and different approaches to diabetes management, including meal planning, carbohydrate counting, and weight management
  • Exercise and Activity: Learn the effects of physical activity on blood glucose and how to create a customized activity plan
  • Medications: Learn the purpose, use and side effects of diabetes medications, including injections if ordered
  • Monitoring: Learn about glucose monitoring, including frequency of testing, how to record and interpret results to manage diabetes
  • Acute and Chronic Complications: Learn the acute and chronic complications that can occur with diabetes
  • Coping, Risk Factor Reduction, Behavior Changes: Learn coping mechanisms for stress and how it can affect diabetes. Also hear problem-solving approaches for diabetes self-care and general health habits
  • Preconception Care, Gestational Diabetes Management, and Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes: Learn the effects of pregnancy with pre-existing diabetes, and how to manage gestational diabetes. Instruction includes individual meal planning, blood glucose monitoring, insulin (if ordered), physical activity and coping
  • Community Resources: Obtain a list of community resources, including Diabetes Seminars/Support Groups

Learning Options

  • Individual sessions are offered for patients with type 1 diabetes and selected patients with type 2 diabetes
  • Group classes are held in the day or evening as needed for patients with type 2 diabetes
  • The number of sessions depends on patient need. Type 2 classes consist of one individual and three group sessions. Gestational diabetes classes are held weekly.


The program fee can be filed with any insurance company, including Medicare or Medicaid. Reimbursement for diabetes education is a covered benefit for Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. A physician referral is required for participation in the program.

Diabetes Seminars

DiabetesIn addition to diabetes education classes, we provide free monthly diabetes seminars/support groups for people with diabetes and their families interested in learning more about diabetes and adjusting to lifestyle changes in managing this condition.

Download Palmetto Health 2015 Diabetes Seminars Schedule

For location information and registration, call Care Call at 803-296-2273.

Inpatient Glycemic Management and Education Programs

The Inpatient Glycemic Management Programs at Palmetto Health are a resource for patients, physicians, nurses, and other health care providers. The programs enhance the care and management of the inpatient with hyperglycemia and /or diabetes. Inpatient diabetes educators collaborate with the health care team and provide Diabetes Survival skills for patients and their families. The programs are based on Best Practice guidelines, which are evidence based. The Inpatient Glycemic Management Programs provide continuing education and a review of the latest technology for the nursing staff and other health care providers.

The primary purposes of diabetes education are to provide knowledge and skills training, help individuals identify barriers, and facilitate problem-solving and coping skills to achieve effective self-care behavior and behavior change. This process starts during the care of the inpatient with hyperglycemia and/or diabetes. Physicians and nurses initiate a referral for inpatient diabetes education through a direct Consult order or by the Admission Referral or Ancillary Referral process. Goals for inpatient diabetes education are:

  • Assess the patient's current knowledge and practices of diabetes self-management.
  • Initiate diabetes education for the patients newly diagnosed with diabetes and /or hyperglycemia.
  • Provide information on basic self-management which will ensure safe self post-discharge care. This information includes: the key components of the disease and its treatment, the ability to take diabetes medication, prepare and administer insulin accurately, the ability to perform finger stick blood glucose and understand the results at a basic level, and the ability to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.
  • Use a team approach with other health professionals to coordinate care in the hospital and post-discharge.
  • Provide information on community resources and Palmetto Health Outpatient Diabetes programs and Diabetes Seminars.
  • The educational components for the inpatient are part of the Curriculum of the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.

For information about the Inpatient Glycemic Management and Education Programs, call:

Palmetto Health Baptist, 803-296-8906 or
Palmetto Health Richland, 803-434-2200.