The pandemic is driving nurses from the bedside now more than ever. Many nurses are looking for positions that will allow them to work from the comfort and safety of their homes.
A great alternative to bedside nursing is telephonic case management. Telephonic CMs still get that patient interaction; you’re still able to educate and advocate for your patients (members), all without the stress of working at the bedside.
Depending on your experience and location, most telephonic case management salaries start at around $70,000 annually, which is typically more than what a staff nurse will make at the bedside. Average schedules for a telephonic CM are Monday-Friday, with 8hr shifts and no weekends or holidays required.
Although working from home is less stressful than acute care, there are certain qualities you’ll need to be successful in the role.
For example, you’ll need to be a self-starter. Basically, this means you need to be able to start and manage your day effectively, with minimal to no direction from a superior.
You’ll also need to be organized. Telephonic case managers often have over 150+ members to keep track of, and it is all too easy to mix things up and get confused.
There are a wide variety of organizational tools available. I use sticky notes, a notebook, a white board, and day planner to help me stay organized.
One of the most important things you’ll need is a quiet place to work. All telephonic case managers are required to have a home office with a lock to protect patient privacy. Some employers may even require pictures of your home office as part of the onboarding process.
Working from home is great, but no job is perfect. There are some things to consider before opting to work from home.
- Work-life balance
Sometimes, 8 hours isn’t enough to get all your work done! Most work from home jobs are salaried, meaning you don’t get paid for working overtime. If your time management is poor, you’ll find yourself staying late to complete your workday, and no one wants that!
- 5-day week schedule
This may take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from a hospital setting. However, you do get PTO, and most companies will allow you to flex your time for doctor appointments, etc.
- Not leaving the house
You can really go all week without leaving the house while working from home, especially if you don’t have children. It may feel great to save on gas money, but trust me, you’ll start to go stir crazy! Its important for your mental health to try to get out of the house a couple times a week, even if you just sit on your porch or balcony for a few minutes.
- Not changing clothes/staying in pjs all day
It is all too easy to roll out of bed 5 minutes before you clock in and still be on time for work! Although this may sound appealing (and even be necessary sometimes) its important not to make this a habit! I make sure to start my day at least an hour before I’m expected to clock in. This falls in line with being a self-starter and helps me to stay organized.
- Keeping the kids home
You may have considered working from home to save on daycare costs. However, you’ll be expected to treat you home office as a “real” office, meaning no kids allowed. The pandemic has made employers a little more lenient, but it’s not expected to last.
Alright, Let’s walk though my typical day working as a telephonic case manager.
0700 – Wake up, wash face, brush teeth, get son ready for daycare/school
0745-0800 – Drop son off at daycare/school
0815 – Back home, make coffee, fill water tumbler
0830-0915 – Walk neighborhood or treadmill
0930 – Clock in
0935-0945 – Check/respond to emails
0945-0950 – Check calendar for any upcoming meetings
0950-1000 – Review member queue and plan out member contact
1000-1230 – Complete 2-3 telephonic assessments
1230-1240 – Check/respond to emails and IM’s
1245-1345 – LUNCH
1345-1400 – Check/respond to emails and IM’s
1400-1600 – Complete 2-3 assessments
1600-1615 – Break
1615-1730 – Complete 1-2 assessments
1730-1745 – Break
1745-1815 – Document member rounds
1815-1825 – Check email
1830 – Clock out
Keep in mind that this is a rough outline of my typical day. Just like a hospital setting, nothing is black and white and there are many outliers that can affect the flow of any day!
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