Living with Diabetes Questions

Questions And Answers

What is a CDE®?

A Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) is a health professional who possesses comprehensive knowledge of and experience in diabetes management, prediabetes, and diabetes prevention.

back to top

What does a CDE® do?

A CDE® educates and supports people affected by diabetes to understand and manage the condition. A CDE® promotes self-management to achieve individualized behavioral and treatment goals that optimize health outcomes. CDEs® have passed a rigorous exam to show they have the knowledge to provide the education patients need to manage their conditions.

back to top

How can a CDE® help me?

Diabetes impacts a person at home, work, and school and effects many different areas of their life—diet, lifestyle, health, etc. Successful self-management involves knowledge about a broad range of topics such as nutrition, medication, exercise and coping skills. It’s not easy to gain all of the necessary knowledge without help. This is where your CDE® comes in.

back to top

I see my physician, isn’t that enough?

Diabetes self-management education is a collaborative process involving you and other healthcare professionals such as nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, optometrists, physical therapists, podiatrists, clinical exercise specialists, physician assistants, or exercise physiologists. Consulting with a diabetes educator who is also a CDE® may lead to better control. They educate both you and your family on how to manage and improve your health.

back to top

I have just been diagnosed and have a referral to see a CDE®. What can I expect now?

The process can vary from person to person. Generally speaking, once you get a referral from your provider you will spend some one-on-one time with your CDE® for an assessment and basic education. You may then be referred to group classes, or additional individual sessions based on your needs, where you will learn about skills to manage the disease in a variety of areas (diet, exercise, medication, problem solving, reducing risks, monitoring, coping, etc.). You will also schedule follow-up visits as needed.

back to top

How does someone become a CDE®?

Diabetes educators are health professionals who must meet strict requirements before they are eligible to take the CDE® exam. These requirements are related to the individual’s experience as a healthcare professional and as a diabetes educator as well as their education. Eligible educators must then take and pass a 175-question exam that covers the different areas related to managing the disease to earn their CDE® credential. They are also required to renew the credential every five years. Renewal helps to ensure the educator continues to maintain and enhance their knowledge.

back to top

I want to work with a CDE®. What do I do first?

In most cases, you will need a referral from your provider. If your provider does not offer a referral to a CDE®, ask for it. You may also contact a CDE® near you and they will likely be able to walk you through the process.

back to top

How can I find a CDE®?

Diabetes educators can be found in many different healthcare settings including hospitals, physician offices, private practice and clinics, to name a few. Use NCBDE’s CDE® locator to find a Certified Diabetes Educator® near you.

back to top

How much does it cost to consult a CDE®?

Costs vary and, in some cases, are covered by medical insurance. Consult with a CDE® in your area to find out the specific costs associated with their services.

back to top

What is the difference between certification and certificate programs?

Certification refers to a credential that demonstrates the certificant’s specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. After meeting defined eligibility requirements, a certification applicant achieves a credential that is nationally recognized credential with the successful completion of a rigorous examination. In addition, individuals who hold a certification credential are normally required to renew their certification on a regular basis in order to demonstrate continued knowledge and experience in the specialty, e.g., maintaining the CDE credential requires renewal every 5 years.

A certificate program is an educational offering that confers a document (certificate) at the program’s conclusion. The participant’s possession of the certificate may be indicative of attendance only and is not necessarily a measure of knowledge or skills. There is also no requirement to demonstrate the maintenance of knowledge or skills over a period of time.

back to top

National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators © 2016, All Rights Reserved