One of the best parts of being a PA student is all the fun new things you get to do; today, we got to give ourselves shots.

I know, that wasn’t what you expected, but it wasn’t that bad, and there was a point to it.  Get it?  A point?

Wow, tough crowd…

Anyway, the pictures and video you see here are from the end of our lecture on diabetes education – teaching diabetics how to manage their disease.  PA students do a ton of reading, hear a many lectures, and even get hands-on learning during class.  The rest of the hands-on learning occurs in our preceptorships, so all in all, we do a lot of learning.

It turns out that many doctors and PAs are reluctant to begin patients on injectable insulin because they fear that patients won’t want to inject themselves.  Problem is, this keeps many patients on oral antidiabetic medications for too long.  Instead of getting the injectable insulin that often is a better choice, they continue taking more and more pills – pills that become less effective as the disease progresses.

I should add here that no PA students were forced to do this, and most of us had fund doing it.  Some of the biggest guys in our class were too scaredy about needles to do it; we’re a strange group, I guess.    But insulin needles are thin and short, and the dose (amount of fluid) is quite small too.  This makes most insulin injections pretty painless. We also did finger sticks to test our own blood sugar with handheld glucose monitors.

How painless?  Well, that’s what our lecturer wanted us to know firsthand.  The video of my PA student Karina shows how self-injecting with .1 ml of saline subcutaneously is done.  Blowing the whole point of the exercise, you’ll see that Karina thought it wasn’t so painless.  I didn’t think it was any big deal, buy hey, we’re all diffferent.

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