Case managers in health care help clients access social and community services and develop new skills to meet life goals. Case managers may be nurses, clinical social workers, or other health care providers, and work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, mental health facilities and private practice.
Clinical Skills and Knowledge
Case managers must possess knowledge of community health care options, vocational services and medical billing procedures. Necessary skills include the abilities to assess mental status in clients, to plan and evaluate patient care programs, to monitor and assess client progress, and to gather data and prepare reports.
Case managers should have effective communication skills to accurately convey information to clients and build positive relationships. Interviewing skills, being adept at building rapport, and active listening also benefit case managers. The capacity to teach effectively, when helping clients develop new skills, is mandatory.
Cultural sensitivity encourages case managers to understand the background of each client and how it may affect interaction and potential intervention, while paying attention to their own thoughts and feelings. This knowledge is tempered by the manager's recognition that people are individuals, regardless of culture.
Case managers link clients to the resources that may help them, such as medical appointments and special accommodations. They may argue their client's case or evaluate and revise contracts between a client and a service provider. Good advocates should have a knowledge of the admission and acceptance criteria for services they recommend, and be aware of the laws and regulations pertaining to their client's eligibility to receive the service.
Johnny Kilhefner is a writer with a focus on technology, design and marketing. Writing for more than five years, he has contributed to Writer's Weekly, PopMatters, Bridged Design and APMP, among many other outlets.