Diabetes Mellitus

Access the Diabetes Mellitus Practicum FREE and learn...

  • When to suspect diabetes based on a history
  • How diabetes is diagnosed
  • How to create a personalized approach to management


A complication of diabetes that every nurse needs to know

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugars, is the most common, and one of the most feared, complication of diabetes treatment. It must be taken seriously as patients can die from this condition. Having an episode raises the risk of mortality over the next 12 months by 65%.

Hypoglycemia is often triggered when those with uncontrolled diabetes try to achieve “tight control”. You must think of hypoglycemia in a diabetic patient who presents with signs and symptoms of epinephrine release, like shakiness, anxiety, tremor, palpitations and sweating.

Usually patients with neuroglycopenia, or low brain blood sugar, have confusion, seizures and coma.

Severe hypoglycemia is defined as needing the help of another person.

If a patient with diabetes presents with signs suggestive of hypoglycemia... remember the following:

  • Consider hypoglycemia even with “normal” sugar levels in a patient with uncontrolled diabetes
  • Their glucose may be falling rapidly with better control
  • You need to rule out mimicking conditions like acute myocardial ischemia or infection
  • If patients need beta blockers for heart problems, counsel them that beta-blockers do not usually eliminate the symptoms of hypoglycemia; most patients on beta-blockers still have profuse "sweats" as a symptom of hypoglycemia

Learning Objectives

  • Review

    We will review the the proper recognition, diagnosis and management of the many forms of diabetes mellitus, including Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes.

  • Understand

    You will gain further understanding of the importance of preventing and managing complications associated with diabetes.

  • Learn

    This course will go over how to personalize treatment to ensure medication and lifestyle compliance among patients.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Objectives

    • Pre-Quiz: Diabetes Mellitus

    • Whiteboard

  • 2

    SOAP Note

    • Introduction

    • Nursing Pearls

    • Subjective

    • Objective

    • Assessment and Plan

    • References

  • 3


    • Lecture

  • 4


    • Diabetes Mellitus Quiz

  • 5


    • Survey

    • Disclosures

What nurses say about NursingSKL:


RN, Belleville

"Very practical clinical pearls that I’ve done by the bedside. I find the content very engaging."

Amber Kirkwood

RN, Ottawa

"Great to have certificates to show the college that I have done the courses. The lessons, with their animations, are fun to do!"

Jeannine Calderon

RN, Belleville

"So easy to squeeze them in between patients. Just did the Diabetes module earlier today."