Happy Case Management Week!
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a homecare patient. Upon entering the home, I found the patient’s frail and elderly wife standing on a chair yelling “get them out of here, get them out of here”. For the next 20 minutes I became the exterminator of her unwelcome stink bugs. Within minutes, I quickly changed roles and became the architect and contractor as she asked for my assistance to help her measure and make room for the hospital bed that would be arriving within the next 24 hours for her rapidly declining husband.
The Case Manager changes roles quickly and frequently throughout the skilled nursing visit: Wound care specialist, disease process specialist, confidant, educator, advocate, collaborator, clinical expert, coordinator, medication manager, negotiator, conflict resolver, consultant, overseer, evaluator, and organizer of the environment so the patient/family can function safely. The many hats that the Case Manager wears is endless.
Our patients and families depend on our knowledge base, our judgment, and critical thinking skills to provide compassionate high quality care. As we collaborate with other members of the interdisciplinary team it is imperative that we are able to communicate the patient/families goals in a manner that is satisfactory to them in order to achieve desired outcomes. Relationship building and trust is critical. Often, we are challenged to build those relationships in a very short time depending on the status of the patient at the time of admission. The Case Manager becomes the eyes, the ears, the voice, and sometimes the only person that day who has provided and offered human touch and contact to the patient.
I applaud our Case Managers and their dedication to our patients/families. The tremendous work that you do each day and often time into post time-clock hours gives our patients and their families much comfort during a very difficult time in their lives. Thank you all for wearing the many hats that you wear…and for wearing them WELL!