National Case Management Week
The American Case Management Association (ACMA) presents National Case Management Week 2018 to let the world know about who case managers are, what they do, and why they’re so important. This special week has been held annually for several decades now, and this year will be hosted over October 7th through October 13th. The celebration of this essential healthcare practice helps to bring to light the important work that case managers do in their local communities, and at a national level too.
The ACMA theme for 2018 is Case Management: Improving Outcomes. Improving Care. It was chosen to help emphasize the positive impact the experts in case management make on a daily basis. The week-long event recognizes the compassion, dedication and healthcare outcomes that are achieved by case managers across all types of healthcare settings.
Case managers are so important, they not only have a week honoring them, but a special day. Wednesday, October 10, 2018, is ACM Recognition Day which recognizes the efforts of those work in case management and have earned certification as an Accredited Case Manager, as well as those who are currently in the process of becoming one. Many organizations will be celebrating these professionals, including permanent staff members and those working on a travel job, with a special event on October 10th or thanking them in another way such as providing congratulations, a thank you note or gift.
How to Show Your Support
There are many different ideas for facilities who want to show support for case managers, from flowers and gifts to recognition dinners and banquets. In many cities and states across the nation, there will be special proclamations and all types of community events.
The ACMA Fundraising Committee also offers a program allowing case management professionals the opportunity to donate a gift in honor of an organization, department or individual. It’s a great way for one to remember or celebrate a case manager that has personally impacted your healthcare career and who makes a difference every day in the lives of patients and their families. The ACMA will list the names of individuals and groups who contribute in its newsletter and website during October 2018 in addition to recognizing honorees in the Fall issue of Collaborative Case Management Journal.
The Role of a Case Manager
This week is also a great way shine the light on what a case manager does, and perhaps inspire someone to embark on this career path.
A case manager works in many aspects of people’s lives, evaluating patients’ needs and available resources. They look for the best, most efficient and economically feasible way to meet a patient’s needs with the resources that are available. For patients who have a chronic, serious medical issue, case management may result in better patient self-management, better compliance with recommended advice, and better patient outcome Exactly what a case manager does depends on the setting and can vary greatly. For example, one that works for a home healthcare company provides quite different services as compared to one who works at a hospital or a health insurance company.
While most case managers are nurses, that’s not always the case. Some of this work is done by medical social workers and in places like a substance abuse rehabilitation facility, the person in this position may have a background in substance abuse counseling. While many aren’t aware that case managers have opportunities to work in travel nursing positions or travel jobs, this is one of the many avenues this career can take as well.
What most case managers do have in common, is that they have a critical thinking mind and a compassionate soul as they’re often called upon to help people in challenging situations find the services they need and create plans for treatment or recovery, among other tasks.
Becoming a Case Manager
To become a nursing case manager, you’ll need to first become a registered nurse, earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program. Many employers prefer candidates who have earned their BSN, or even better, a master’s degree in nursing. Once your degree is earned you’ll need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain your license. Two to three years of clinical care experience as an RN is usually required before you can work as a case manager. You can also earn accredited case manager (ACM) certification, which enhances professional standing by reflecting a high level of competence.