What is a Nurse Case Manager?
A nurse case manager works intimately with patients both in and out of healthcare facilities, mostly in an administrative capacity. This field can be very rewarding because of the long-term relationships with patients and being able to see the patient heal and grow. Nurse case managers handle all aspects of care for patients and many work closely with social workers to obtain long-term care.
Collaboration is key for nurse case managers. They not only work closely with multidisciplinary care teams, but also work closely with outside resources for managing complex patient needs, in addition to working with the patient's family.
Duties and Responsibilities of Nurse Case Manager
Nurse case managers assess client needs to develop care plans; coordinate between patients, care providers, and facilities to execute the care plan; ensure patients and caregivers understand the treatment options and communicate with them regularly.
Nurse case managers also serve as a liaison with human service agencies and insurance providers, and they sometimes participate in discharge planning. (NursingProcess.org)
Create and Manage Plan of Care for the Patient
Creating a care plan begins with identifying the patient's goals so that you can plan the steps the care team needs to take in order to meet them. This involves developing a care structure and process. This includes patient location if the patient is at home, will they need a home health nurse or will they need transportation for doctor visits?
Advocate for Personalized Treatment Options
Nurse case management is focused on patient advocacy, which includes personalized treatment options versus a one-size-fits-all approach. To do this, the nurse case manager must actively listen to the patient to understand their desires.
They must speak precisely and plan well. It is important for nurse case managers to be persistent and stand up for their patients, and this is best executed with confidence.
To learn more about patient advocacy, read our article, The Role of a Nurse in Patient Advocacy.
Schedule Patient Medical Appointments
As previously mentioned, the role of a nurse case manager is heavily administrative. In order to meet patient goals and needs, part of the job requires scheduling medical appointments for the patient including home health care.
Communicate Patient's Health Conditions to Patients and Families
Nurse case managers need to communicate, often in a teaching capacity, with the patient and their families. This includes thoroughly going over the care plan and explaining to the family the patient's needs (part of patient advocacy).
It's important that nurse case managers are cognizant of their tone and body language, and work on individual relationships with their coworkers.
If you need to brush up on your communication skills, check out our article, 7 Nursing Communication Skills for Introverts.
Serve as a Liaison
Nurse case managers serve as a liaison between the patient and any medical care they need, including communication with families. The nurse case manager acts on behalf of the patient, so they are connecting with physicians, home health nurses, and social workers, as well as the patient.
Are you interested in a contract nurse case manager position?