Nursing is a wonderful profession that presents us a plethora of work settings to pursue our calling. The profession allows many work opportunities to partner with the patient, family, and community promoting well-being and healing to all that we serve. Working in a clinical setting a nurse has face to face interactions with his or her patient which allows the ability to effectively assess the patient’s needs. So what if you had an opportunity to work in a different setting as a nurse while maintaining your nursing skill set? Case management is one opportunity for nurses to put all their knowledge, skills and abilities to work. Assessment skills go beyond the bedside.
For many, nursing is viewed as the persona of a nurse in scrubs with a stethoscope strategically placed around the neck of a nurse entering the room of a patient. As effective change agents in healthcare, we can provide that same exceptional care to our patients where we can work collaboratively to improve patient outcomes and assist our patients in many settings. Moving towards a brighter future enhanced through innovative technology advancements allows us to stay connected through telehealth, electronic records, and patient portals to provide up to date results for necessary delivery of care. Case management is an area in nursing that allows the nurse to hone in on his or her skills and provide advocacy through face to face or telephonic interactions.
Communicating with case managers in the hospital, community and even home settings to connecting with the insurance side for members to provide such essential care is key in our current world of practice. Whether we as nurses arrange home health care needs, collaborate with the transplant registry for a complex patient we manage, provide disease management teaching such as diabetic preventative education or assist a patient after a work-related injury navigating disability or workman’s compensation requirement needs, there is a place for nurses to come together and provide the necessary resource management to patients in order to maintain optimal health. Much of the work of a case manager may begin as preventative management and continues to change as the patient is assisted in meeting his or her needs as medical conditions unfold.
Moving into the future I have learned as a clinician to become more mindful and adaptable to all the changes in healthcare while promoting continued advocacy and coordination of care for patient’s needs to be met. Keeping in mind, the golden rule caring for others the same way we want to be treated as humans all while having our medical needs safely managed. Medical advancements are also proving that life expectancy has changed and people have the ability to take a more active role in the decision-making process. We as clinicians have the ability to support and facilitate the needs for those we serve.
As nursing professionals, education affords us as individuals the requisite skills necessary to provide safe and equitable patient and family-centered care across many venues to support the ethical and cultural needs of the patients. We also have the unique opportunities to learn from the generational and diversified individuals within the workplace. Teamwork and collaboration are paramount within the workplace. Day to day operations is safeguarded with proper adherence to standards of care, health care policy and procedures, and the knowledge, skills, and abilities individuals possess as a whole.
When we place value on collaboration and effective communication through interdisciplinary partnerships positive outcomes benefit the patients we serve. Although nurses work independently, communication and interdisciplinary collaboration enhance patient outcomes. As nurses and care managers we can maintain the organizational commitment as well as safeguard our patients in a rewarding an autonomous role. Want to learn more about a nursing role that can change the life of the patients you serve, learn more about the role of a case manager, and explore the many opportunities that are available in nursing.
Submitted by Guest Author: Lisa Whiffen MSN, RN, CCM
Lisa graduated from Brockton Hospital School of Nursing in Massachusetts in 1988 as a Diploma RN. After graduation, she began working as an RN and charge nurse on a Med/Surg and Hospice unit where she worked full time and began her journey to advance her education. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 1996. Lisa was then recruited by a group of medical internists she worked alongside in the clinical setting to manage their practice as a clinical manager.
Lisa is extremely passionate volunteering her time with her husband and three children at their school, where their motto is “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve”. She is also a Bereavement Specialist Consultant for the Massachusetts Center for Unexpected Infant and Child Death. In addition, Lisa works as an Associate Lecturer Professor for Curry College in the Division of Nursing in Milton, Massachusetts. When questioned about the future, Lisa smiles and replied: “the future will always be brighter with more nurses, if I can share knowledge to promote the wellbeing of others we care for then I am happy!”
Change can be frightening to many, the fear of the unknown, the resistance to learning new ways even when they may improve the process. Having a clear understanding that nursing can take on many different faces, and we have the ability to change our course or path in a field we are passion about.