6003 – Case Managers—Put Your Oxygen Mask on First Before Helping Others
Is case management stressful? We would be fooling ourselves if we said: “it is not.” While we may be removed from bedside or direct patient care, case managers have a greater responsibility as we assist our clients not only in their course of illness or injury but in every aspect of their lives to help them be as ‘whole’ as possible again. Sometimes our therapeutic relationships with clients may take the course of several years, and feeling the impacts of their struggles is almost unavoidable. Moreover, our essential job duties as case managers have their own set of responsibilities and challenges, such as caseload, case acuity, time management, collaboration with everyone involved in each case, and documentation, just to name a few. Regardless of the environment we work in as case managers; be it in nursing, in counseling, or in clinical social work; we carry the load of each case, and over time, chronic stress creeps in. Chronic stress affects our own physical and mental health. It interferes with our role as an effective advocate for our clients and clouds our attitude, judgment, and objectivity to the people we serve. Excellence in case management starts with a healthy mind and body so that we can be an effective case manager for our clients, be a good representative of our industry, and be a good mentor for our fellow case managers. Strong leaders lead by example, and we, therefore, must learn how to manage ourselves first. Participants in this session will be able to gain greater insight into the following:
1. Identify the challenges in case management and stressors associated with the various practice settings in care coordination and advocacy efforts.
2. Define the general concept of stress and the effects on the brain and body.
3. Recognize the difference between burnout and compassion fatigue.
4. List potential stress reduction strategies to decrease the negative effects of chronic stress and compassion fatigue.