Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
October 15, 2000
Question from San Francisco, California, USA:
I am interested in going back to school to get a Masters in Counseling. The area I would like to specialize in is children with diabetes. My brother was diagnosed a few years ago, and I felt like it would have been nice to have someone at the hospital to talk to -- for the whole family. Do you think there is a need for diabetes counselors? Do you know of anyone who currently does this?
I have worked for over a decade as a counselor specializing in diabetes in families. There is a huge need for such services, as your own experience validates. However, with the advent of managed care, counselors became viewed as a “luxury” in diabetes treatment. In short, nobody was willing to pay for the clinical expertise of a therapist. Dietitians and nurses do the lion’s share of “counseling” now. I was so very fortunate to have a genuine team of gifted professionals with whom to work. Our team consisted of an RN, RD, exercise physiologist, myself, and a foot care program. The doctors supported it wholeheartedly because it absolutely worked!
I still get calls from families of children I knew at their diagnosis, adults whose lives have new dimensions, and professionals who need my help. I wouldn’t trade anything for the experience of counseling in diabetes. Unfortunately, the landscape of medicine has changed so much that families of loved ones with diabetes often get minimal attention.
So I say go for it — as long as you know the lay of the land. You will be needed more than you realize. You just might not get paid. I did what I did for the love of it. I am doing this now for the same reason.