Nurse Case Manager: The Director of Patient’s Care Plan
Nurse Case Managers directs a patient’s plan of care. Their functions revolve on assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation.
Nurse Case Managers employs a holistic approach in providing care to patients even outside the clinical setting. It ensures continuity of care, prevention of rifts as well as repetition of care.
Moreover, they function as patient advocate, guidance counsellor, social worker and as a liaison among the patient, significant others and other healthcare professionals or even insurance companies.
Their workplace may be inside or outside a facility, such as in a hospital, community health centers, care homes or hospices, or even in interchanging work environments.
Also, they should efficiently take advantage of all the available resources in order to deliver the best care to the patient. All interventions should be cost-effective and affordable. They should work in an organized, creative and communicated way.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
A Case Manager’s roles and function involves complex responsibilities and obligations. The initial focus is to build good rapport and establish effective communication. Good communication skills is the key for a smooth working relationship with the patient and significant others.
Further, proper patient assessment is essential in comprehensive identification of patient’s strengths, weaknesses and even health risks. Consequently, it serves as a determinant of patient’s care needs. The needs are categorized according to importance, the most health-threatening condition as the priority.
Also, the Case Manager should always involve the patient in planning. This is vital to make sure that all plans to be implemented are in accord with the patient’s preferences. It will also facilitate the establishment of a patient-focused health care plan.
In implementing the plans, the Case Manager should record all of the patient’s activity, as well as interventions provided and patient response. The Case Manager collaborates with other health care professionals and other referral facilities and health insurance agencies.
Lastly, health education should be provided to the patient and significant others regarding health condition and management.Collaborate with other health professionals.
SALARY AND JOB OUTLOOK
According to PayScale.com, the annual median wage of Nurse Case Managers is $66,532. The lowest 10% earn less than $47,830 while the leading 10% are paid more than $83,370 a year. The RN Case Managers who belong to the top earners are those with highest education (Masters or Doctorate degrees).
On the other hand, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 26% growth by year 2020, which is more than the average amongst any other job growth in the U.S.
HOW TO BECOME ONE
The work of a Nurse Case Manager entails good education and competent work background. To become an RN Case Manager, one should obtain a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Thereafter, the BSN should prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN in order to acquire an RN license.
RNs should practice their profession in order to obtain experience. They may focus on the field of medical-surgical, emergency or trauma care. Additionally, one should consider advancement in their career by obtaining a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The most popular specializations for Case Managers are on the fields of: Geriatrics, Pediatric Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Emergency Care.
Further, the RN should be accredited as an Accredited Case Manager (ACM) through the American Case Management Association.