Kristen T. describes nursing as the profession she “always wanted.” After graduating from nursing school, she worked in a pediatric clinic setting where she discovered that patient care coordination and case management are what she really enjoys. Early in 2017, she started working with CCA as a mobile registered nurse but within a few months she switched positions to a telephonic care manager (“care partner”).
In this role, Kristen manages care for CCA members (both CCA One Care and CCA Senior Care Options) whose health is stable and who don’t need frequent home visits. These members get their primary healthcare from providers in their communities. Through CCA, Kristen has access to their medical records so she can keep track of their health status and needs. She reaches out to members if she believes there is an unmet need, and she can coordinate with the members’ doctors to arrange for additional care and services. If a member doesn’t understand something from a doctor’s visit or instructions from a care plan, Kristen talks to them over the phone to explain what it means and what the next steps are. Kristen arranges for healthcare services that improve the quality of life for these CCA members and helps them stay living in their communities.
Kristen loves her role and says it’s “really great being able to help people and bring care services together.” She finds it especially rewarding to step in to help someone who is independent but is struggling a bit with immediate health issues or social needs. Recently, for one CCA member that we’ll call “Joe” to protect his privacy, Kristen was able to help him through a rough patch. Joe became a CCA One Care member in 2017, but he wasn’t making his health concerns a priority. Although able to live independently, Joe was experiencing depression and chronic pain from a shoulder condition, and he needed a better housing situation. Kristen was able to gain Joe’s trust and arrange for him to get shoulder surgery and physical therapy that improved his range of motion and problems with chronic pain. She connected Joe to a therapist to work on his depression. To improve Joe’s housing situation, Kristen helped him find another apartment in the same town so he could remain close to his friends. She connected Joe to community resources that provided healthy meals and arranged for CCA transportation when needed to get to physical therapy appointments.
Kristen says Joe feels he’s in a better place and on track to meet his healthcare goals. Joe is comfortable reaching out to Kristen when he needs to, and Kristen is happy to have developed a strong relationship with him. She loves her work as a nurse at CCA and says this story is comparable to the journey of many other CCA members.