Standard Bearers of Patient Advocacy
BY MARY MCLAUGHLIN-DAVIS, DNP, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, CCM
In recent months, I have watched the dire predictions and outcomes of the damage and devastation of tragedies across the U.S.: the Gulf and Caribbean hurricanes, the California fires, the horrific shooting in Las Vegas and the vehicular attack in New York.
As I witnessed on television the destruction and loss, I could not help but think about how the individuals affected by these natural disasters and violent acts will need case managers. I am a nurse, and my case manager colleagues are social workers, vocational specialists and respiratory therapists, among other professions. We all are compassionate, caring and competent experts in our fields. We are also professional case managers, and we share among our profession the skills of assessment, planning, evaluation and plan readjustment. We are standard bearers of patient advocacy, and we implement this standard when it is obvious that our patient-client, or her caretaker, cannot speak fully for herself.
Case managers excel at way-finding, and now more than ever our patients across the U.S. need the assistance of brave men and women, including those who are currently helping them as well as the many who will have a case manager assisting them in the near future. Case managers are found across the continuum, and as these two tragedies wreak their havoc, professional case managers stand ready to help. In the first days after these events, case managers across the country reached out to our colleagues in the affected areas, inquiring about their health and stability. Case managers’ calls poured into our national headquarters asking about what could be done to help both our case manager colleagues and their clients and patients.
Many of our CMSA leaders and colleagues live in the affected states; we are holding them close in thought and prayer at this time. I realize these events will be behind us at the time of this printing, but right now I cannot think about anything else. I have so much faith in the strength and goodness of our case management community as they minister to all those affected by these tragedies.
Thank you all for your compassion, courage and steadfast calm in the face of adversity. ■
Mary McLaughlin-Davis, DNP, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC, CCM
President, CMSA 2016-2018
Dr. McLaughlin-Davis is the president of CMSA. She has been a certified case manager since 1993; she is a clinical nurse specialist for adult health and the senior director for care management for Cleveland Clinic, Avon Hospital.
Photo credit: All Stock Photos / Shutterstock.com