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Transition was positive. They helped me understand my condition.

Diabetes

Education & Work

Whether you are at school, college, University or are working it can help to think about the impact on your health and how to make sure you can access support if you need to. The following may be helpful to think about:

Exams

Good blood glucose control will help you achieve your best in your examinations as poor blood glucose control (highs or hypos) can make you feel tired and lethargic, as well as affecting your ability to concentrate.

However, this can be challenging as stress and anxiety can lead to fluctuating glucose levels. Here are some top tips to help you do your best:

  • Check your blood glucose levels regularly on the day of examinations, as you may need to change your insulin to achieve normal blood glucose levels, particularly to avoid hypoglycaemia.
  • Hypo's can happen at any time even during examinations so BE PREPARED.  Take your Hypo remedy and blood glucose meter into the examination with you
  • It is essential that you speak to your teacher or tutor to ensure that they know how to help you. You will need permission to have your meter and hypo remedies with you and they may need to contact the examination department to ensure you are given access to special examination conditions.
  • Because you have diabetes, you are entitled to special examination conditions including extra time if you experience a hypo. This should include enough time for your brain to recover and work at its best (Allowing you the same time to complete your examination as your peers). 

Please contact your Diabetes Specialist Nurse for support/information - don't struggle on your own.  Once all the examinations have ended you will need to review your insulin requirements

University

Moving on to college or university can be a challenging experience for students with or without diabetes. 

  • If you are moving far from home then it is worth signing on to a new GP practice to ensure you have ready access to your diabetic supplies. For those who have a pump it is also important to update the supplier to your new change of address so they can deliver to your new location.
  • Most individuals with diabetes won't require living modifications. You may not consider yourself to have a disability however you can notify your university's disability services of your condition. This service may be able to provide assistance e.g. providing a fridge for your room to stock your insulin.
  • Make sure that you have a safety system in place. You might want to think about asking uni support to knock on your door if you don't attend a lecture of exam or let them know your sick day rules. You can find the information here. You could also make sure that you have daily contact with a parent/carer or friend who can check up on you if they don't hear from you (just an emoji would do!)
  • Find out the out of hours contact number for your local hospital at Uni. If you are in Bristol or need to contact the team here the out of hours number is 0117 9276998 and you should ask for the Team 1 Registrar on Bleep 2289. You can also phone the Emergency Department or an ambulance in an emergency. 

Work

If you are starting or have started work and have diabetes there are a number of rights that protect you. It can help to know:

  • Having diabetes should not affect your ability to get or remain within a job, however as an insulin user some jobs are unavailable to you (under current legislation). You can find out more from the Diabetes UK website here.
  • The Equality Act 2010 protects people with diabetes from discrimination from a potential or known employer. With very few exceptions, individuals should be able to apply or keep a job to which they desire and should be assessed on their own merits.
  • As a person with diabetes, for the majority of occupations you have no obligation to inform your employer of your condition. Similarly, your employer has no right to contact your GP and access your medical records without your consent.
  • However, given that diabetes can be unpredictable at times you may wish to inform occupational health/a confidential service within your workplace. 
  • By informing your employer you are protected under the equality act 2010 and by law they are obligated to provide reasonable adjustments to your working environment should your diabetes make this necessary.