Talking Points

  • Rebecca Harrington, MSLIS, AHIP Florida State University College of Medicine


Sometimes words can hurt more than a needle prick. Since, on the outside, a person with diabetes (PWD) may look perfectly healthy, it’s easy to accidentally say something thoughtless and insensitive. Being on the outside looking in, those who make up a PWD’s support system – health care providers, coworkers, friends, family members, even partners – can find it difficult to talk about diabetes in a helpful way. After all, we don’t experience the ongoing daily management a person living with diabetes does.

You want to let someone living with diabetes know that you are there for them without feeling as if you’re being too intrusive. Diabetes is a personal battle, and has very individualized characteristics for each person living with the disease. How do you offer help without overstepping bounds?

To answer this question, we’ve compiled some tips on how to talk about diabetes with patients, friends, family, and coworkers. We also developed a resource on how to assist them in an emergency.

Author Biography

Rebecca Harrington, MSLIS, AHIP, Florida State University College of Medicine
As Electronic Resources Librarian, Rebecca Harrington, MSLIS is primarily responsible for managing the digital medical library collection that supports undergraduate and graduate medical education, as well as faculty research, for the College of Medicine Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library.
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