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Letter: Should DSNs market themselves better?

Sara Da Costa

I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the article ‘The Northampton story: DSNs under threat’ (Vol 2 No 1: 4-5). I would like to congratulate Jan Anfield  on her ability to discuss with clarity such an emotive and frustrating experience. It is a worry shared by all DSNs and – as her experience shows – is directly related to a lack of understanding and thereby value of the DSN role.

This was one of the main reasons why the UK Association of DSNs was  founded; our aim is to raise awareness by clarifying both the educational preparation and definition of the role itself. We will address the former by a joint Working Party with the RCN later this year which intends to recommend to the UKCC appropriate educational preparation for practice for colleagues entering the specialty as well as those currently in post.

Key to our continued employment is the need to actually discuss our role, its potential and its value in terms of quality client care and service development. This would be better addressed collectively by local and national marketing – while many of you may feel uncomfortable at my use of this term, it is a strategy we must address. 

Often it is one we choose to ignore in favour of delivering client care. However, if we are simply viewed as an expense, and do not invest the time in persuading decision-makers otherwise, we are liable to be cut out. And who will deliver client care then?

The UK Association welcomes any strategies you may have, and would be willing to collate and promote ideas. Please make the time to consider this, for national recommendations and marketing would certainly help our future; apathy will not.

I would like to take this opportunity to reply to the article ‘The Northampton story: DSNs under threat’ (Vol 2 No 1: 4-5). I would like to congratulate Jan Anfield  on her ability to discuss with clarity such an emotive and frustrating experience. It is a worry shared by all DSNs and – as her experience shows – is directly related to a lack of understanding and thereby value of the DSN role.

This was one of the main reasons why the UK Association of DSNs was  founded; our aim is to raise awareness by clarifying both the educational preparation and definition of the role itself. We will address the former by a joint Working Party with the RCN later this year which intends to recommend to the UKCC appropriate educational preparation for practice for colleagues entering the specialty as well as those currently in post.

Key to our continued employment is the need to actually discuss our role, its potential and its value in terms of quality client care and service development. This would be better addressed collectively by local and national marketing – while many of you may feel uncomfortable at my use of this term, it is a strategy we must address. 

Often it is one we choose to ignore in favour of delivering client care. However, if we are simply viewed as an expense, and do not invest the time in persuading decision-makers otherwise, we are liable to be cut out. And who will deliver client care then?

The UK Association welcomes any strategies you may have, and would be willing to collate and promote ideas. Please make the time to consider this, for national recommendations and marketing would certainly help our future; apathy will not.

REFERENCES:

Anfield J (1998) The Northampton story: DSNs under threat. Journal of Diabetes Nursing  2(1) 4–5

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