Training for new Animas Pump?

I’ve been pumping with Medtronic pumps for 8+ years and have just received my new Animas. I don’t have any training scheduled and really don’t think I need it. I’ll be using the same type of infusion sets although the reservoir set-up will be different.

What do all of you think about training, especially those of you who have switched brands of pumps?

I have a routine endo appointment this week and was planning to stay on my Medtronic pump until the appointment so she would have some Carelink data. However, I’m a little worried that if I haven’t started the Animas pump yet she might suggest that I get trained on it. Frankly I don’t think that she’d really care, but it’s her job to recommend the “safe” way to transition to a new pump.

I found training helpful when I switched from Medtronic to Animas. It all went fairly quickly because I wasn’t brand new but there were some subtle differences that I found training helped. Mainly navigation I was used to doing things with Minimed habits and had to learn the Animas way. I kept hitting the wrong arrows and nothing would happen so some training helped me to realize why and relearn better ways to do things with Animas. Most of what I was doing wrong was subconscious so would have been hard to correct on my own. Or would have taken a lot longer and ended up being a lot more frustrating so I was glad to have spent an hour with the rep.

I found that I had to decrease my basal rates on the Animas compared to Medtronic by about 10% because of the differences in basal delivery. My bolus calculations didn’t change though.

I made the switch in August, watched all the video stuff, read the manual, played with the animas pump before making the switch. I just used all the same basal, bolus, ratios and got started. I did call Animas tech support a couple of times, I was getting more air bubbles in the reservoir than I had with my Medtronic and was just making sure I wasn't doing something really wrong when filling (have figured it out now, no trouble), and I think I also questioned tech support regarding the differences in the pumps concerning changing the battery and when the reservoir hits "0" just to make sure I understood. I did not see my diabetic educator until about a month or so later and no changes were made at that time. I did keep the Medtronic pump set to "suspend" and hid it to where I wouldn't hear the reminder alerts just in case I had problems and had to switch back.

Thanks Diana and Korrie for your input. I know that I’m going to have to get used to the different menu system. If it weren’t for the Animas/Dexcom pump to hopefully be released in 2013, I would have never switched to Animas.

I do know that I’ll have to be methodical on filling reservoirs to avoid bubbles. Korrie, what to you do to avoid them?

I just had to get use to the difference in the reservoirs/length of the needles was my biggest problem. MM's needle is short and Animas is back to that huge and long one so with a not totally full vial of insulin I was "catching air" when filling. So I just go slow (like with MM) and watch placement of the needle in the insulin vial. Also, the "fit" of the vial on the MM reservoir is more solid compared to the Animas and that also took a little time to adapt to. I had it down pretty good by the 6th or 7th site change, and now do not seem to have any more trouble with air bubbles than I did when using MM - usually due to carelessness and trying to fill to quickly. And do be prepared for a little more button bashing with the Animas as compared to the MM. I use a lot of the Audio Bolus feature for speed now when I can instead of going through the carb bolus menu. And the One Touch Ping remote - that's nice too. And having to remember that cartridge cap - kept forgetting that was needed too when I began! Good luck. I'm sure you will do fine.

If you go to the Animas group, you’ll see that I started the Ping today without training. I did go about it very methodically, so I don’t think that I messed anything up. The reservoir fill went very smoothly, but I can see how it will be a little iffy when using an almost empty bottle of insulin.

I did discover that although I have to use the Animas tubing, I can actually use the rest of my Medtronic Silhouette sets. I’ll keep some of the sets as backup with my Revel pump, but it’s nice to know that I won’t have to bother trading them in or just wasting them.

I just started pumping a 10 days ago and got the Ping because I had money left in my flexible spending and plan to use the $99 upgrade to the Vibe when available. Got the Dexcom also. As for the bubbles, my trainer was especially diligent in the training to ensure there was not even a film of air in the reservoir. When i flicked it, she said no, you need to use a pen or something harder to whack it to get them all out. Kept saying cant you wee them, and I was like that? There were two on the plunger that wouldn't amount to a period in this sentence if they joined all their friends. I was like whatever, but that was the advice i got.