CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014 - (Page 24)
The Final Step:
Remembering to Revitalize
Developing your "Bench Strength"
in Case Management
BY WENDY DEVREUGD, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS, MBA
t is spring - a season of renewal, change, and perennial regrowth. Spring is a time to allow
a breath of fresh air and sunlight into our lives, to inhale the scent of ﬂowers, and to replant.
It is said that it is also a time for spring cleaning in our homes and in our lives.
So, what if we "spring clean" in our careers, as well?
In part three of three articles presented
in CMSA Today, we continue to address the
steps of Recruit, Retain, Renew, Recognize,
and (finally) Revitalize - steps that help us to
build "bench strength" in case management
by innovation and use of best practices. We
must continue to treat those we care for and
nurture in our lives, but we must also strive for
minimal burnout on our part. As caregivers,
we also need to be filled up in order to be able
to continue to give.
This last step of revitalize is critical, because
regardless of how we try to plan, control, listen,
educate, nurture, and help people, there are
circumstances that may interfere with the best
of our plans. There are so many experiences
that may discourage and divert us from our
core character and career that on occasion
we need to re-connect with why we chose
our particular path to begin with: our patients.
Initially, I had intended to write this column
on the various ways CM leaders can engage
employees through recognition programs that
revitalize and re-engage their employees. Then,
last week, I attended a conference where I was
fortunate to listen to and meet the keynote
speaker, Rich Bluni, RN, author of the 2009
novel, Inspired Nurse. He spoke with humor and
told stories of his experiences, some of which
made the audience cry. According to Bluni,
"Sooner or later all nurses ask it," referring to
the question: "Why am I doing this?" As he
notes in his 2009 novel, we should be looking
for things that equal purpose, worthwhile
"Miracles come in
moments. Be ready and
willing." - Wayne Dyer
work and making a difference - so what are
While listening to Bluni, it suddenly
occurred to me that perhaps I was missing
the mark for this article. Revitalizing is not
always about what we leaders can do to
"inspire" our employees, but also about what
we can do to support them to self-inspire.
Bluni did that for me. He spoke about the
importance of remembering, acknowledging,
and thanking your mentors, as well as asking
the question, "Whom can you mentor?" But
most importantly, he spoke about the
inspiration of telling stories - the process
of remembering the "whys" in your chosen
career and the patients and people that have
inspired you. In a moment of synchronicity
during his presentation, I suddenly recalled
a story I wrote many, many years ago about
a patient who inspired me and helped me
reconnect to "why" I became a nurse. Maybe
this is the reason I found it? I will share this
story with you here in the hope that you will
carry on Bluni's mission to help start your own
department "storybooks," ones that continue
to inspire and revitalize YOU with meaning.
I would like to share this story, which I
wrote about a brief encounter with one of my
Issue 5 * 2014 * DIGITAL
patients who profoundly changed me in the
simplest of moments. I have remembered her
always. I wonder if she knows the legacy she
My 75-year-old patient had terminal cancer.
I was on the night shift and was very busy
delivering all the patients' scheduled medications
(for this patient it was her "Morphine Cocktail"
scheduled to be taken every four hours).
"Do You Know the Meaning of Intimacy?"
Someone Once Asked Me.
"Yes!" I said, "and Here is Why."
Don't give me that medicine.
It makes me act crazy,
and then everyone thinks I am a wild woman!
I may be dying...
but I'm not in pain right now.
All I want is for you to sit with me;
in this lonely hospital room
and just talk with me awhile."
Even as the shift was very busy,
I set down my meds.
(In retrospect, there are profound moments
when even a harried nurse should tarry.)
Somehow she let me know
she was in charge of her destiny, not me...
I should listen.
A soft click of the bedside lamp gave
shape to our faces
as I leaned over and rested on her
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014
CMSA Corporate Partners
The Community-Based Care Transitions Program
Ready or Not
The Final Step: Remembering to Revitalize
Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Systems
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 5, 2014