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Session leaders aim to bridge generation gap in teaching AADE7

Persons in different generations with diabetes appear to learn in different ways, and diabetes educators need to understand how to adapt the AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors™ to various generations of patients in ways that appeal to specific learning styles.

Mechelle Coble, MS, RD, CDE, LD

Mechelle Coble, MS, RD, CDE, LD

That’s the theme of today’s breakout session, “Bridging the Diabetes Generational Gap” from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm today in W205, run by Mechelle Coble, MS, RD, CDE, LD, a diabetes coordinator at the Lincoln Trail Health Department in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, and Janey Wendschlag, BSN, RN, a licensed diabetes nurse educator at the Lexington-Fayette County Public Health Department in Lexington, Kentucky. 

“Not everyone learns in the same way, and there are techniques and tips to help educators teach people in different generations. Who we are comes from how we grew up, what our culture is and different life experiences that play a part in how we learn,” Coble said.

For example, she said, generation Y individuals, born between 1977 and 1994, want information at their fingertips right now through mobile phone apps and Internet searches. They are technology-oriented, and diabetes educators need to engage them on that level.

Generation X individuals, born between 1966 and 1976, are problem solvers, very competitive and more likely to write things down and keep a logbook. They will work hard to achieve what they want and expect the same from educators.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1965, like traditional lecture formats of teaching and are loyal to their healthcare providers, Coble said. They are resistant to change and do not change their habits quickly.

Janey Wendschlag, BSN, RN

Janey Wendschlag, BSN, RN

According to Wendschlag, “We have adapted the AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors to individual generations of patients with diabetes. In this session, we will provide diabetes educators with tips and tools that will allow educators to help different generations of patients with diabetes make changes in their behaviors.”

The generational tools take into account differences in learning styles, cultural influences, racial and economic differences, and other things that impact how people learn and apply what they learn to daily life, Wendschlag said.

“We will share tips for using AADE7 Self-Care Behaviors, so diabetes educators can become proficient in generational learning styles, gain more confidence and pride, and learn how to be as productive and cost-efficient as possible in their patient interactions,” she said. 

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