Caring with patients in their homes is very rewarding for Wendy Most, RN. She explains role of a case manager in home health and reflects on the effects of COVID-19 in her work.
As a case manager for Cleveland Clinic Home Care, I am responsible for attending to the skilled nursing needs and coordinating/collaborating with any other disciplines involved such as therapy, home care aides, and social work. This is sometimes very straightforward and sometimes can be very challenging. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, we have found that there have been many patients who are reluctant, even afraid, to go to a Skilled Nursing Facility. This has presented some extra challenges for our home care staff in dealing with complex patients that require more services and coordination than is typical.
As a case manager, you have to step up and try to meet those patient needs and keep patients safe in their homes. Sometimes this means increasing the number of times you go into that home, and more collaboration with the other disciplines. I feel that home health has done a very good job at stepping up to this task. We have been very successful in keeping our patients at home.
I would encourage nurses who feel that they "connect" with patients, have a genuine concern for the well-being of others, and enjoy interacting with patients and their caregivers/families to join the home care team. Making a difference and watching patients progress towards independence is one of the most rewarding aspects of home health care.