This paper is a research critique on a case study conducted by Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki titled “Effective Diabetes Care by a Registered Nurse Following Treatment Algorithms in a Minority Population”.

Problem Statement

Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki (2006) conducted a study on the role of a registered nurse in education and medical management of diabetic patients. Diabetes is one the chronic diseases that involves more than hospital bedside care. A patient must be armed with vital education on ways of managing the condition. Traditionally, the nurse’s role is to provide medical care to patients. The authors observed that while the nurse is aware of his/her responsibility, the patient may or may not know what to do to manage the condition. The delivery of care may not be very productive if teaching and counseling are not in line with clinical skills and expertise. They observed that the incorporation of registered nurses in the treatment of diabetes can greatly improve patient outcomes. The research problem establishes the effectiveness of registered nurse in self-management of diabetic patients.

Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki observed that registered nurses go beyond education. They assess a patient’s needs with an understanding that the patient also has a role in maintain his health and overall wellness. The last 20 years have seen advanced practices in nursing, which emerged and grew tremendously. About 50 states embrace the practice through prescriptive authority. Registered nurses have recorded an effective provision of services to diabetic patients compared to physicians, who offer a usual care. The study is, therefore, of a significant importance in analyzing the role of registered nurses in all diabetic conditions.

Purpose and Research Questions

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of a registered nurse in a diabetic patient care. The research identifies the holistic approach embarked by a registered nurse in administering detailed treatment algorithms in the treatment of a diabetic patient. It was meant to find out the level of improvement on patient outcomes when a registered nurse is engaged in the management of diabetes, as compared to a physician administering usual care (Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki, 2006).

Research questions in this study were in the context of case treatment about a patient. These research questions were derived from the steps that the registered nurse (RN) took to manage the patient’s problems based on the physical examination and laboratory results. They were:

  1. What are the most pressing health care issues of a patient?
  2. What priority does the RN give with regard to medical care?
  3. What other measures the RN should take?
  4. What advice should be appropriate for taking the prescribed medication?
  5. What type of education should the RN give during follow up visits?
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Both the purpose and research questions related adequately to the problem. The research questions in particular were meant to evaluate the type of intervention that the RN would have on a specific case. Subsequently, this would reveal whether or not this registered nurse assessed the case holistically or not. Of course, this would depend on the advice he/she gave to a patient and tolerance to the patient’s medication beliefs (Parahoo, 2006).

The qualitative methods used were divided on before and after trial, such as physical examination of the patient and a series of laboratory tests. The importance of this cannot be overlooked (Ellis, 2010). This is because they offer guidelines to the RN when she/he attempts to engage the patient in treatment based practices to control diabetes. Essentially, the methods adequately answered each research question so that the author had valid conclusions in his quest to identify the role of registered nurses in diabetes treatment.

Literature Review

Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki (2006), used qualitative and quantitative literature in this case study. One of these is a randomized trial conducted in 2000 on the primary care outcomes observed in patients under RNs or physicians (Mundinger et al., 2000). Other sources were quantitative but with relevant information on the problem touching on registered nurses and diabetes. They gave information on instances where care by registered nurses has shown a great improvement on patient outcomes, such as pediatric type and diabetes in pregnancy management.

The references used in the paper are not entirely up-to-date, since they surpass the five-year limit. However, their importance on the subject matter cannot be overlooked. However, it would have been more insightful that the authors used at least two current references to show that they are in line with current developments on this issue. No weaknesses of previous studies were given as they all support the purpose of the study. The literature review was not adequate, considering that not much was mentioned about previous research (Burns & Grove, 2011). However, the treatment presentation is adequate in giving a logical argument of an encounter between a diabetic patient and registered nurse. A systematic approach indicates the bias towards the assertion that registered nurses have an important role in the treatment of diabetes.

Theoretical Framework

Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki (2006), did not identify any conceptual or theoretical framework used in the case study. The only leading clue to such organization would be the medical history, physical examination, and laboratory results of the patients that led to the RN administering treatment. This revealed the current medical condition of the patient that would later guide the RN on the kind of education and medical skill and expertise that would be offered to the patient. No diagrams were developed from the same.


In conclusion, Mayer, Maria, Petra and Vicki (2006) work is of a substantial significance and clearly approaches issues facing diabetic patients from a coherent view-point. This article definitely influences the role that a nurse should play in encouraging a diabetic patient towards detailed treatment algorithms.

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