Friday, April 24, 2015

"Shop Talk": My new journey

As you may or may not know, I have recently changed jobs. I feel like I've done a complete career change, to be completely honest. I've gone from Case Manager (aka Medicare-guidelines-follower/glorified social worker) to "Nurse Coordinator for Pulmonary and Interstitial Lung Disease". Talk about a mouthful, right?!

Actually the term for my position is "Nurse Navigator". But I find that to sound silly. And bring to mind images of this:

 
So what exactly is a nurse navigator? I get this question a lot. In fact, while going through "general company orientation", I was asked this a lot by people that work for the organization...and I didn't really have an answer. All I knew upon taking this position was my job was to "better" patient care, and keep patients out of the hospital.
 
Basically I am clinic coordinator for 3 sub-specialty clinics: Asthma Clinic, COPD clinic, and Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic (which takes up the most of my time...because these patients are on some intense therapies, and need a lot of TLC). Going from ED to case manage to such a sub-specialty, the past few weeks have involved TONS of education and studying (hence my lack of blog posts).
 
I have the autonomy to do whatever I think is going to make life better for my patients. And it is pretty awesome! Being I manage about 300 patients, and I tell each one I make contact "Call me anytime you need anything - I am here for you!"...my phone rings a lot during the day.
 
But there is nothing more rewarding than having a patient state about how happy they are to have someone that has time to listen to them! Our healthcare system is so inefficient and over-crowded. I think we all (at some point in time) have been on the receiving end of being placed on hold forever just to get a simple doctor's appointment.
 
Normally a clinic operates by a call system, maybe a medical assistance that will transfer verbatim what the provider said - back to the patient. Our doctors/nurse practitioners/physician assistants are so incredibly bogged down these days. I think it is amazing that clinics are finally seeing the light, and adding RN's to their payroll who can triage, and provide medical advice within their scope of practice!
 
This is probably extremely boring to anyone that dares to attempt reading this, but I am just so excited about what I'm doing these days! It feels amazing to enjoy what I do 40+ hours/week.
 
What is your favorite part of your job?