Case management interview, what to highlight?

  1. I'm so excited because I just learned I'll be getting an interview for an RN case management position I applied for. A friend of mine works in the department and referred me to the job, and after I heard the kind of work she does I was very motivated to apply! She tells me that placement and aftercare are primarily done by social work at her hospital, not so much in the case management department. She said she focuses on utilization review, working with insurance companies, and discharge. I have two years acute care experience and one year long term care, and have been told that people with far less experience are being hired for these position, so I feel I have sufficient work to draw on. However, can anyone suggest to me what I should highlight in my interview as the reasons why I would be the best choice?

    I have always preferred the business/paperwork side of nursing, and am very detail-oriented and organized. Working in a team or autonomously, I'm comfortable with both environments. My friend tells me you are placed in a particular "team" and you do rounds with the doctors and keep up on the progress towards discharge. Unfortunately, my friend isn't very descriptive about all her job entails, so it's hard for me to know what to "zero-in" on in the interview.

    My best skills tend to be in the assessment, documentation, communication (verbal and written), and organization areas.

    Any ideas?

  2. Visit Hoosiernurse profile page

    About Hoosiernurse, RN

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 164; Likes: 81
    Registered Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in telemetry, cardiopulmonary stepdown, LTC


  3. by   SummerGarden
    You should be fine because the things you mentioned in this post are the things that most employers will discuss with you during an interview. Also, I think you will be a good fit considering you prefer the business side of nursing. Do not get me wrong, becoming a new CM may be very challenging for you at first (made less so, if you do not have to deal with placement issues), but with the right attitude and clinical background you should be able to do the job. Welcome and good luck with your interview!
  4. by   CapeCodMermaid
    What's the average salary for case managers? I am burning out being a DNS in a SNF but not sure about taking a pay cut.
    Last edit by CapeCodMermaid on Sep 28, '12 : Reason: Spelling
  5. by   Hoosiernurse
    I had my interview today, and I don't think it went very well. I had memorized various stories I could relate to questions...a time I worked in a team, a time I had a difficult patient, how I improved things, my weaknesses, my strengths. All that typical stuff I had in my head, but the interview just didn't seem to click. I was asked a long list of questions, and it went on for an hour. WOW!

    Sometimes it felt like I was supposed to know what a case worker would do, but I have never been a case worker. I was asked, "How would you assess a patient when meeting them for the first time?" I didn't understand and asked if she meant as a nurse, or something else? She meant assessing them for case working. I had no idea! I've never been one. After a few questions like that where I muddled around and felt like an idiot, it was hard to think of answers!
    There were a lot of questions about my greatest achievement, how I deal with having to do something I didn't want to do (I struck out on that one, my story was one where I didn't want to do something and I DIDN'T)...honestly, after an hour of that, I couldn't make sense of what I was even saying anymore. I had done a half hour before that with HR, and then sitting there being grilled about all sorts of really stunk.

    She kept wanting me to give my description of what case management was, and when I didn't get the answer quite right we would talk awhile about it was really different from my answer. I just felt like a boob. She was a nice person, but I was just not calling up the stories and answers she wanted to hear, I don't think.

    She said if things progress I will have a peer review next week, and I really don't know what to think of that. I feel wrung out, and I can't imagine having several people firing questions at me. I think sometimes my answers impressed the boss, but most of the time it seemed like she was not satisfied.

    Of course, my interviewing skills are rusty, too. We'll see what happens, but I'm not expecting much.


  6. by   SummerGarden
    Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry you felt that your interview did not go well. You still may have a chance if they bother with a peer interview. My apologies for my original response…

    When I originally posted, I assumed that you had researched the field of Case Management and was just asking about basic questions needed for interviews. In any case, it will help to look up the definition of Nurse Case Management and the scope ofpractice of Nurse Case Management prior to your peer interview. If you do not already have book then go here and read several articles under the link "Issue Briefs" (located in the second to last paragraph near the bottom of the page) to get an idea of what we do.

    A Case Manager who is a RN is to continue to remain within your State’s scope of practice for RNs. One reason you were asked so many questions about your understanding is because many nurses new to this specialtyof Case Management enter with a pie-in-the-sky belief system of what a Nurse CM is and what he/she will be doing on the job. For example, some think Nurse CMs are like social workers (we are not) or that nursing models and processes no longer apply, which is not true.

    On top of that, many walk into Nursing Case Management and have a hard time dealing with all of the politics related to this specialty. For instance, our work enviroment includes that of the business world, where you will need to negotiate with others, make compromises, stroke egos, and navigate the world of insurance, money, contracts, vendors and suppliers, while working under federal and state regulations. If you do not have this experience, there is an additional learning curve that will make this job even more difficult when you start.

    Also, by throwing scenarios at you about things you do not want to do, they are giving you hints that you will be thrown into situations that you may not want to do. However, the expectations will be that you are to carry out those duties that are within your scope of practice and are not against the law.

    On the other hand, after you have read more about this specialty, you may want to re-think becoming a Case Manager. Working as a Nurse CM is different than bedside nursing, but it is not an easy job. This is why many former bedside nurses return to bedside nursing within 1 year of working as a Nurse Case Manager.

    In fact, I have a co-worker who has worked as a CM less than 1 year. She only works part-time and that is, according to her, too much! She is leaving Case Management and returning to bedside nursing in the clinic setting. Good luck, with whatever you decide.
    Last edit by SummerGarden on Oct 3, '12 : Reason: Formating
  7. by   nurseprnRN
    Anyone interested in case management should hook up with the Case Management Society of America, CMSA. There are local affiliates that do educational offerings aimed at novices to experts, offer great opportunities for networking and mentoring, and can give you contacts that may help you get work. Disclaimer: I present at the regional CMSA affiliate (CMSNE) and spoke at the national CMSA meetings recently.