Think of everything that you have heard or seen about nursing, especially over the last couple of years. Nurses are like superheroes without capes (that’s true, we are). Television shows make it seem glamorous; it’s not. Just about every nurse has worked long shifts, with non-stop activity, few bathroom breaks and meals that you are only able to consume with one hand while the other rolls a computer down the hallway. It is a hard job but the most rewarding job that I have ever had. I still miss bedside patient care but a bad back led me to look for another way to care for patients. I was very fortunate that a friend told me about Colorado Access and the utilization management team. I discovered nurses with diverse specialties and experiences, still caring for the community. Nursing tenets of advocacy, education and health promotion can be seen regardless of where you practice. Colorado Access has nurses working in multiple departments that are doing all of these things for our members and the community.
We have utilization management nurses that use their clinical experience and judgement to review authorization requests for medical necessity. Making sure that treatments, services, and inpatient hospitalizations are the appropriate level of care for members based on their history and current clinical needs. They proactively reach out to case management when they have a complex case that will require resources and services beyond the scope of utilization management.
Case management nurses are transitional care and resource champions. They work closely with providers to coordinate care for members transitioning from inpatient to outpatient status. This ensures that members have everything they need for a successful discharge, preventing repeat hospitalizations, especially for our complex care members. They also work closely with members to provide education and follow up about diagnoses and medication adherence.
Our learning and development team has a nurse on their team as well – Bryce Andersen. I’m calling him out by name because I’m going to use a quote from him. Bryce’s accomplishments as a cardiac ICU, public health nurse, and clinical scholar are significant and deserve their own article. I asked him for insight on his career path; his answer sums up everything wonderful about nurse educators. “I may no longer be helping patients one on one, but rather, I am helping our entire member population by ensuring that our staff have the tools and they need to make a difference in our members lives.”
All nurses care about people and want them to be healthy and happy. All nurses work tirelessly to improve the lives of those in their care. Not all nurses wear scrubs and a stethoscope (except that I still wear scrubs because they are like super comfy sweatpants with extra pockets).