IN FORMATION: BUILDING A COMMUNITY, ONE EDUCATOR—AND ENEWSLETTER—AT A TIME If you’ve ever wished there was an easy way to pull up a chair and talk with fellow diabetes educators (DEs) about successes and struggles, best practices, and tips and tricks, In the Know is for you. Think of it as your very own virtual coffee shop filled with smart, collegial DEs from across the country who are invested in their patients’ success just like you.

Please send your best practices, article ideas, and feedback to: IntheKnow@medtronic.com.
Ultimately, In the Know’s success hinges on one very important factor: YOU. Knowledge is power, and the more ideas and advice we share with each other, the more we will be able to help patients by doing our jobs better and more efficiently. What sets In the Know apart is that it’s by and for DEs—and the more voices that participate, the stronger we are.

To get the ball rolling, I wanted to share with you one of my best practices for something we see a lot of this time of year—patients headed off on summer vacation. So take a few minutes for yourself, pour a fresh cup, see what you think of my idea… and then write us with your own. Together, we can make In the Know good to the last drop word!


Summer is the most popular time of year for vacationing. Whether this occurs at an exotic locale or in a backyard tent, patients on pump therapy have planning to do beyond which swimsuit to pack. How can we best equip them for their adventures? What are some considerations that they may not have thought about?

With so many important questions to address, I created a “Vacation Information Card” (VIC) for my patients (and for pediatric patients, their parents/guardians). I find that having a quick tool to reference clarifies my teaching objectives with patients and families. With this tool, I am able to systematically review and complete the relevant sections of the VIC, and patients can keep the card accessible while planning, packing, and traveling.


The VIC is customizable for travel throughout the year, since the recommendations may differ based on the type of vacation, including the anticipated weather and activities. I’ve learned from experience that this is a good idea. Many years ago, I recommended that a patient in her early 20s keep her insulin vial close to her body when snowboarding (in order to keep it from freezing). The following summer, she dutifully clipped her insulin pen to her bathing suit to make sure it was still close to her body. A customizable VIC card would have likely prevented the miscommunication and could have helped the patient plan better for her summer vacation.

Life as a DE gets simpler when we leverage tools that create efficiencies while also providing important guidance for our patients. I am thrilled to share my VIC with you and hope it makes your job just a little bit easier. We can’t wait to hear your innovative ideas, too!

Laurel Messer, RN, MPH, CDE, guest editor of this issue of In the Know, is a proud diabetes educator and clinical research nurse who has specialized for the past 10 years in type 1 diabetes, insulin pump, continuous glucose monitoring (CGM), and artificial pancreas device system studies. She works with pediatric and adult patients at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes in Aurora, Colo. Laurel helped author the Pump and CGM Pink Panther book and has contributed to others in the series. Please send your feedback to IntheKnow@medtronic.com.

Vacation Information Card

Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Date: ________________________

Vacation destination: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________

How I will store my insulin (consider temperature, accessibility, and all phases of trip):


Where I will keep diabetes supplies (consider temperature, accessibility, and all phases of trip):


I will bring the following supplies (circle):

Pump Supplies
Blood Ketone Meter
Pen Needles
Glucose Tabs
CGM Sensors
Alcohol Swabs
Blood Glucose (BG) Meter
Blood Ketone Test Strips
Basal Insulin (Pen or Vial)
Glucagon Kit
Tapes for Pump Set or CGM
Pump or CGM Inserter
Diabetes ID
BG Test Strips
Urine Ketone Strips
Rapid-Acting Insulin (Pen or Vial)
Batteries for Pump
CGM Transmitter
Travel Letter
Back-up Prescriptions

Current insulin doses: _______________________________________________________________________________________________

Plan for increased activity (consider alternative basal patterns, decreased insulin, temporary basal rates, etc.):



Plan for multiple time zones (if applicable):



Emergency plan in the unlikely event of a pump malfunction:




Emergency contact: ______________________________________________________ Phone #s: _____________________________________

Clinic emergency phone number: ________________________________________________________________________________________

Insurance information (also bring card with you): ____________________________________________________________________________