For Morgan Butler, treating diabetes is personal. She was diagnosed with diabetes at 2 years old, and although the diagnosis was unwanted, the wonderful care she experienced with her nurses and doctors growing up fostered a desire to give back to the clinic that raised her. Nursing was always her goal, and working as a certified diabetes educator was the dream.
Today, Butler works as a specialty nurse treating pediatric diabetes at Arkansas Children’s. She works in a clinic to see patients for follow-up, reviews blood sugars daily for patients and works in the office to answer sick calls. Her other duties include committee work with School Nurse Academy helping to plan the annual conference for PESTOLA, a regional group of the Pediatric Endocrine Society.
Continuing education for herself and the team at Arkansas Children’s is one of Butler’s top priorities. Butler helps to educate school nurses in diabetes care in partnership with Arkansas Children’s, the Arkansas Department of Education and the Arkansas Department of Health through the School Nurse Academy, making sure they’re confident in the care of their students with diabetes.
Butler is also a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, a volunteer and advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a nurse and volunteer for Camp Aldersgate, a camp specifically designed for kids with special diagnoses and disabilities. Butler and her team have a diabetes camp every summer that they staff for medical needs.
One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is helping families impacted by Type 1 diabetes to never feel like they’re alone in their journey. Butler aims to have her patients’ families feel empowered to take on the diagnosis and to know that the Arkansas Children’s team is with them every step of the way.
“I tell families in the hospital that we are family now, and joke that they are ‘stuck’ with us until the patient is 18,” Butler said. “It’s nice to have families call and check in, but it’s even better when families feel they have been educated well enough to take on diabetes self-management and feel comfortable making their own adjustments. That means we’ve done our job well.”