Who is this DNE that everyone is talking about and what does she do? In short, if you have diabetes, she’s your best friend and she works wonders!


A DNE is a health professional specially trained in diabetes management by means of an accredited programme. The main goals of interacting with a DNE are to improve glycaemic control, enhance self-care and improve your quality of life. Unfortunately this is not always available to people in South Africa accessing the state health system but many programmes are in place that can be accessed. If you have a medical aid and the luxury of attending a specialised diabetic care centre then you will have the opportunity to see a specialised educator who can work together with the diabetes team to ensure you get the best care possible.

Some aspects of care that a DNE will cover include health lifestyle choices – healthy eating, physical activity, smoking cessation, weight management and coping with stress. She may also address medication issues such as how and when to take your medication, insulin injection technique and blood glucose monitoring. Further aspects may include education about the complications of diabetes and strategies to prevent such complications as well as more specific and individualised goal-setting or sick-day management.

Doctors are notoriously bad at explaining things and spending time answering questions! Make friends with your DNE and get answers to those important everyday questions!

If your child has been recently diagnosed with diabetes or you are living with diabetes in your home or family, the DNE is the perfect perfect intermediary between all the questions and complexities that diabetes carries and your pathway to success.

At the Atrium Lifestyle Centre we are truly blessed to have one of the country’s best diabetic nurse educators. Sr Fiona Prins has many years of experience, months of studying and more hours in the day to dedicate to patients than anyone you’ve met before. Even if a colleague or relative has diabetes and you just want answers and information, please contact her and take some time to benefit from her wisdom.