When a child receives a diabetes diagnosis, many parents feel overwhelmed. While there’s a lot for you, your child and your family to learn, Sutter Children's Center at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento is here to help. Our Pediatric Endocrine and Nutrition Services (PENS) Clinic provides diabetes care that focuses on every aspect of your child's health. Our PENS team consists of highly experienced nurses, dietitians and social workers who specialize in teaching children and their families how to care for diabetes. The PENS Clinic is recognized by the American Association of Diabetes Educators as a Center of Excellence and is regarded by others in the community as a premier, cutting-edge service utilizing the latest technology in managing diabetes.
Patients have a choice with their individualized appointment and can see one, two or all three specialists.
- Our certified diabetes educator nurse focuses on the medical aspects of diabetes including medications, blood sugar patterns and how to manage issues affecting blood sugar control.
- Our certified diabetes educator dietitian focuses on nutrition, healthy eating habits and growth.
- Our licensed clinical social worker focuses on how to integrate diabetes into everyday life and is there to support the emotional side of having a chronic illness. The social worker can also help with issues managing diabetes in the school.
Group Classes and Support Programs
- Diabetes Basics Class is for children and families who are newly diagnosed or need a refresher. This three-hour class allows children and families to meet others going through similar issues and learn skills to manage diabetes.
- Insulin Pump Initiation is for children new to using an insulin pump. The group class format is designed to be interactive and fun. All participants are monitored to ensure insulin doses and settings on the pump are correct.
- Teen Group is for teenagers who are struggling with diabetes and managing blood sugar. The teens meet with the team on a monthly basis for six months to discuss and help each other problem solve common issues. These groups have been very effective, allowing teens to meet with others who are have similar experiences.
Please look at the list of topics we can discuss at your next individualized appointment:
- How to interpret blood sugars, look at patterns and change insulin doses.
- Advanced pumping skills — How to maximize the pump to improve blood sugar.
- Exercise and diabetes — How to manage blood sugar to improve performance.
- Computers and downloading — Creating reports to find trends in blood sugar.
- How to parent a young child, preteen or teenager with diabetes.
- Exploring the pros and cons of insulin pump therapy and brands available.
- Nutrition — Meet with a dietitian to see if current eating patterns are healthy for the child and family.
- Challenging foods and events — How to dose insulin.
- Teen issues — Driving, drinking and dating.
- Transitioning from child to adult, what to know.
- What should your child be doing independently or supervised?
- All about celiac disease and gluten-free foods.
- How to handle sick days, prevent ketones and stay out of the hospital.
- How to create and manage a school plan — Tips and advice for whether you need a 504 plan and how to set one up.
- Healthy development — Is your child, teen growing and developing appropriately.
- Equipment — Are you using the right meter, lancing device, pump, infusion set or insulin pen? Talk to a certified diabetes educator to see if you have the right equipment.
- Being social with diabetes, friend issues, diabetes camps, parties and special occasions.