UBC Nursing students provide Diabetes education to UGM staff


The Union Gospel Mission (UGM) provides meals, shelter, and substance recovery services to people living in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) every day.

To better serve their guests, UGM requested training from the UBC School of Nursing on how to manage hypoglycemia in guests who have diabetes. For our N344 Synthesis Project, a team of students (Rebecca Burns, Brittany Kliment, Katelyn Newell, and Shelby Slater) developed a training module, hypoglycemia kits, and a foot care poster, the latter to be used during foot soak clinics. The module provides an overview of diabetes, common diabetic complications, signs and symptoms of hyper- and hypoglycemia, and a protocol for managing hypoglycemic episodes. Our team also prepared hypoglycemia kits for UGM that each include a copy of the four-step hypoglycemia protocol, as well as a bottle of Dex4 glucose tablets. Finally, we created a foot care poster that includes tips that are applicable to all UGM guests, particularly those with diabetes.

On February 9th we presented our final products to UGM staff and discussed how they could be implemented. UGM plans to include the diabetes module on their internal website and as part of staff training. They also plan to share the module and hypoglycemia protocol with the UGM location in New Westminster, as well as with select other organizations working in the DTES. This project helped to fill a knowledge gap at UGM and gave staff the information they need to better serve guests experiencing hypoglycemia.