How to manage case overload

Care coordinators have an average caseload of 75 cases or more. Care managers who function in a supervisory role can be responsible for supervising upwards of 150 cases or more. But of course we know, YOU just don’t manage the Client!

How many clients, family members, doctors, and caregivers are actually in your caseload?

How do we deal with stress and prevent burnout?

The last thing you want is to make helping others such a priority that your own mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing takes the hit. Every time you get on an airplane you are instructed to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. WHY?

What happens when our internal caregiver is always turned on is called burnout. Unfortunately, it is the number one reason for attrition in our industry.

Feeling stressed, tired, or anxious about work is not unusual, but burnout can cause decreased physical and mental health. Specifically, individuals who report experiencing burnout are:

63% more likely to take a multiple sick days
23% more likely to visit the emergency rooms
They’re 13% less confident in their job performance.
They’re almost three times more likely to leave their jobs

What is burnout exactly? It’s the process of struggling to operate, becoming closed off, irritable, and easily angered. Sadly, when a Service Coordinator reaches this stage, they may have to take extensive time off, or even worse are forced to resign or get fired.

The worst infractions are self imposed high expectations which make it difficult to withstand the demanding role and the emotional exhaustion it brings.

“View your life with KINDSIGHT. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, “What was I thinking,” breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, “What was I learning?” — Karen Salmansohn

The best prevention we have is self care and should be taken seriously by all those working in areas that can be emotionally and mentally draining.

Ways to Prioritize Self-care as a Care/Service Coordinator

To avoid overload and burnout completely, researchers have found that it is particularly helpful to prevent things such as:

Compassion fatigue – the physical and mental exhaustion and emotional withdrawal experienced by those who care for sick or traumatized people over an extended period of time.

Vicarious trauma a psychological response that is associated with the disturbing experiences and traumatic events of another person,

Secondary traumatic stress – can occur when a professional experiences high stress or symptoms of trauma when working with people who have experienced trauma that mimic posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Empathy is one of the greatest of Virtues. It is why you are so good at what you do. Too much Empathy becomes a vice. How do you know if it has become a vice? Do you feel guilt often?

By taking self-care seriously, care coordinators can assess their own needs and ensure they are being met without feeling guilty.
Put your mask on first 🙂 Find supportive mentors and positive peer groups. It is now, finally time to pursue personal goals and hobbies. You must schedule relaxation!

Prioritize your comfort in and out of work

Tips for improving your remote work environment
By creating an environment you’re comfortable in, you can feel more engaged in your work and excited to collaborate with other employees.

Here are 10 ways you can improve your work environment for yourself and other team members:

  1. Provide positive reinforcement
  2. Contribute to team meetings
  3. Motivate your team members
  4. Show gratitude to everyone and acknowledge their worth
  5. Eliminate Noise
  6. Keep Your Space Clean and Free of Clutter
  7. Sit next to a view or make one (ART)
  8. Put plants, water, and nice aromas around you
  9. Schedule breaks
  10. Drink plenty of water and prepare healthy snacks.
Get into healthy routines

Mentally, Physically, Emotionally, and Spiritually; we need to check in to see what condition our condition is in.
Conditioning your mind and body to carry out habitual activities that ground and center you are a crucial part of self-care. Before reaching the office for example, can you find one hour to go to the gym? Are you a church-goer who finds peace from worship? If so, maybe you can schedule a time to visit after your day is finished. It depends on what self-care strategies work for you personally. Finding these and sticking to them will help prevent burnout.

Seek support

Within the workplace, there should be access to mentorship or advice you can seek out. Also, ensure you surround yourself with a peer group that you feel comfortable opening up to. Learn to check in with each other and personally debrief after an intense case to process what happened and figure out your next steps.

“Hiring yourself as your own counselor assures you have very difficult patient” ~ Unknown

As we can see, case management is never easy, and unfortunately, we still have a long way to go before things become balanced for the majority of Us. However, taking personal ownership over your self-care is fundamental if you want to avoid burnout and continue serving your community as a successful Service/Care Coordinator..

Allow AMA PERS to be a solution and to decrease your stress.

The goal of all LTSS plans is to facilitate optimal living functions for your clients when you are not there. AMA PERS is a critical part of this process. Alert Medical Alarms provides enterprise level solutions that help make the lives of Case Managers and their Members easier. Clients and their caregivers need wandering solutions, social isolation fixes, proactive help with falls, and many other interventions that come with some pitfalls of aging. Together we give back freedom and independence to those who need it most.

AMA is doing our BEST So you can set it and forget it 🙂