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A clinical issue that is frequently seen, are women diagnosed with gestational diabetes during their pregnancy. Clinical guidelines recommend post partum glucose screenings 4 to 12 weeks after a GDM pregnancy (Bower, Brittney, Butler, Bose-Brill, Kue, and Wassel, 2019). Only about one-third to three-quarters of women receive this screening, and with low income and minority women less likely to meet guideline recommendatations (Bower,, 2019). When these patients return for the next pregnancy, they are diagnosed again with GDM. The question or issue is, are these patients gestational diabetic or undiagnosed type 2 diabetics.

Gestational diabetes is the most common complication of pregnancy and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life (Daneshmand, Stortz, Morrisey and Faksh, 2019). Low income and minority women are at higher risk and up to two times more likely to have gestational diabetes (Daneshmand, Stortz, and Faksh, 2019). There is an urgent need to promote post-partum screening among women with a history of gestational diabetes and educate regarding healthier lifestyles, nutrition, and pharmacological interventions to prevent future onset of type 2 diabetes (Vounzoulaki, Khunti, Abner, Tan, Davies, & Gillies, 2020). The uncertainty of whether the responsibility for screening these patients lies with the primary or secondary healthcare provider is causing a gap in care (Vounzoulaki, Khunti, Abner, Tan, Davies, & Gillies, 2020).

The implication this has for nursing is the need to help establish a means to close the identified gap, promoting continuity of care through collaboration and the prevention of future diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. To deal with this problem, nurses need to research ways to improve the screening and diagnosis of gestational diabetes, identify populations at increased risk, evaluate recent evidence regarding the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes, and the outcomes of a longer follow up period (Vounzoulaki, Khunti, Abner, Tan, Davies, & Gillies, 2020).

Minority women who do not receive the appropriate post delivery monitoring and prevention of future disease prevention, have a higher probability for perinatal and long-term poor health outcomes (Daneshmand, Stortz, & Faksh, 2019). According to the World Health Organization, noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and chronic lung disease, are responsible for nearly 71% of all deaths worldwide (World Health Organization [WHO], 2020). It is important for nurses to work towards preventing future noncommunicable diseases, decreasing the burden on the healthcare system and ultimately, improving patient outcomes.


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