1. I am a home health nurse, case manager for a national home health company. I coordinate patient care with patient, caregiver, doctors, therapists, nurses and home health aid. I also call on other community agencies when needed.
2. I work with staff with in the office branch manager, clincal director, quality control nurses, schedulers and various administrative staff. Then you add patients, family/friends, physical therapists, occupational therapists, a speech/language therapist, psych nurses, doctors and their staff... sometimes I deal with laboratory staff.
3.My car is a medical office on wheels. My home is my second office. The company has an office that I go to about 3 days per week to turn in documents, for staff meetings, pick up necessary equipment and supplies, and for inservices.
4.Our branch works mainly with medicare patients. I assess their physical, mental, environmental status. I look at their family and friends to see who is available to assist them. Sometimes I will call complimentary agencies to assist with homemaking, supervision in the home, etc. It is my responsibility to make sure supplies are ordered and available in the home. I will see the patient in the home as needed. this can be daily, weekly or monthly depending on patient need.
5. Challenges include finding where I am going, I am so thankful for GPS! Weather in KY can be challenging, especially in the winter, we get alot of ice. Teaching and helping caregivers go outside their comfort zone - dressing changes, g-tube feeds, foley irrigations... Scheduling my day, then having to make changes so I can fit one more patient in...
6. Allowing a patient to remain in their home instead of going to a LTC facility, watching patients and family members learn new skills as they reach beyond what they ever thought they could do, the relationships that develop, these are some of my rewards. Independence, autonomy, beautiful drives in the country are pretty good, also.
7. Qualifications for being a casemanger in homecare require an RN at my company. However, we have some LPNs that make visits and provide care. Most companies require 1-2 years hospital experience before you can work in the field.
8. A typical day starts with checking my company voice mail, making follow-up calls to patients, docs or therapists; making sure I have all of the supplies I need, going to the office if necessary. We are supposed to see 6 patients a day, on average. Most visits are 30 minutes, give or take. Starting a new case takes 1.5 -2 hours for the visit. Travel time between patients can be minutes or an hour depending on the location. Some days I spend 3 or more hours just driving. There is also the paper work... this is important because this is how the agency gets reimbursed. We have not gone to computerized charting.
All in all, I love what I do. What other job lets you go out and meet wonderful people, visit with them in their homes, help them get well, teach them new skills and get paid for it?