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Patient Education: What is a CDE

American Association of Diabetes Educators

Certified diabetes educators are there to help their patients learn how to take care of themselves – guide them through their treatment and help them with any fears, issues and problems they encounter along the way.

Information courtesy of the American Association of Diabetes Educators 


Diabetes is a complex disease that requires daily self-management – making healthy food choices, increasing physical activity, monitoring blood sugar, taking medications as prescribed, problem-solving for high and low blood glucose and strategizing ways to reduce the risks of complications and to learn how to cope with lifestyle changes.

Diabetes is also a very personal disease. Upon being diagnosed, it’s not uncommon for a patient to feel a certain amount of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear about how their lifestyle may change. Fear that they will experience life-threatening complications.  

Certified diabetes educators are there to help their patients learn how to take care of themselves – guide them through their treatment and help them with any fears, issues and problems they encounter along the way.  

Certified diabetes educators are health professionals – nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, doctors, exercise specialists, podiatrists and social workers, among others – who specialize in the care and education of people with diabetes. They work in a variety of settings. They may be found in hospitals teaching group classes or working with patients individually. They may also be in physician offices, pharmacies, home health agencies, neighborhood clinics or in private practice. Wherever you find them, the care is always personalized and of the highest quality.   


Certified diabetes educators realize that one size does not fit all. By getting to know their patients as individuals, they assist them with creating self-management plans that meet their needs, one based on their patient’s age, school or work schedule, as well as their daily activities, family demands, eating habits and health problems.


To find a diabetes educator near you, call 1-800-TEAMUP4 (se habla espanol), or go to www.diabeteseducator.org and select the “Find an Educator” link.