Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
In the United States, approximately 30.3 million or 9.4% of the population have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Of these, 8.3 million remain undiagnosed. There are approximately 2 million people incarcerated in detention centers, jails, and prisons across the United States with approximately 80,000 inmates living with diabetes. Correctional officers are not educated to identify and respond to inmates with evolving medical complications, such as low or high blood glucose, which can lead to preventable adverse events, including permanent injury or death. The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence-based education module to teach correctional officers how to recognize the signs and symptoms of low or high blood glucose levels of inmates with uncontrolled diabetes and to rapidly respond with basic medical treatment. The module was validated by 6 experts with 87% agreement prior to being presented to 49 corrections officers in a 1-hour lecture format with cases, guided by Knowles's adult learning theory. A paired t-test demonstrated the average knowledge scores significantly increased from 56% before to 76% after the education module (t = 7.16, p = 0.0001). Although the baseline and follow-up knowledge were low among this group, this project measured only short-term learning outcomes. Because the impact of knowledge acquisition could diminish or disappear with time, future studies to measure the long-term effects of the education on avoiding adverse events are necessary. This project contributes to positive social change by providing correctional officers with an increased likelihood of identifying early and responding appropriately to inmates with an evolving medical emergency.