The Sacred Role of Care Managers
Greetings of the holiday season to all!
A friend of mine has a bumper sticker that reads “WARNING: DATES IN CALENDAR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR!” Ain’t that the truth! I expect you are all feeling as much whiplash as we are at how quickly another year is drawing to a close. As artificial and corny as it seems, I’ve always appreciated the year end–new year pause to reflect, appreciate wins, absorb losses, and evaluate goofs – and plan ahead for fewer of the latter and more of the former.
I’m ending the year a little exhausted by the learning curve of taking up the leadership at the Institute, but much relieved by the committed, skilled, and thoroughly delightful members of our team! I’m learning more, too, about the world of care/case management and have come to appreciate, all the more, how it really is the key link in the continuity of care chain.
You are the practical advisors … who ensure that the person leaves one state or place and arrives at another whole and protected.
Way back in my college days, I studied anthropology. In all cultures, rites of passage – such as baptisms, school graduations, bar or bat mitzvahs, weddings, and funerals – are used to mark or even make transitions from one state of being to another. We enter the rite as one person in a particular stage or place of life and emerge in a different stage or place. Anthropologists recognize that such transitions are dangerous – because for a little while you are neither this nor that, neither here nor there. Symbolically, that leaves your wholeness and identity at considerable risk. Rites and rituals, often presided over by sacred personages such as priests or midwives, were developed by humans to contain and mitigate the danger, to ensure that the person entered the transition and left it whole, even if transformed.
Case managers, to some degree, are the “priests” and “midwives” in the continuum of care for seriously ill people. You are the practical advisors and “spirit guides” who ensure that the person leaves one state or place and arrives at another whole and protected. Your role is indeed sacred. And we feel very privileged to be assisting you by offering you the knowledge, skills, and support you need. In 2018, we’ll be expanding our care/case management curriculum – stay tuned!
So when you get a chance over the holidays, take a few moments to reflect on your year, with all its losses, goofs, and wins. And if it feels like the losses and goofs outnumber the wins, remind yourself that you are performing a very difficult but truly sacred role. And we’re here to help you do it.
Happy Holidays and a FABULOUS New Year.