Case Managing Ourselves¬© Update

Greetings and salutations,

It is coming up on a month since the CMSA National Conference held in New Orleans. The initial post-conference frenzy has subsided and most everyone I know who attended has returned to the reality of our “regular” lives. I say regular but in no way are our lives ho-hum. We case management professionals make a difference in the lives the people we work with each and every day. The annual pilgrimage to case management mecca is an opportunity to renew ourselves in the healing waters of shared spirit, knowledge, and understanding that our work is essential to the success of health care. Anyone who takes issue with that or who fails to give credit where it is due is sadly misguided and uninformed as to what authentic professional case management is really about.

One of my concurrent session presentations at the conference was entitled, Case Managing Ourselves: When You Are Caring for Others, Who is Caring for You? A Goal-Driven Self-Care Plan. I reported the results of surveys conducted through Ascent Care Management early in 2013 and shared some personal perspectives as to how I undertook the challenging work of Visionary Self-leadership© to improve my own health and wellness. The session was extremely well received. As a matter of fact, it was the most frequent reason people stopped me to chat during the course of the conference! Personally, I was gratified that others understood my personal struggle, as well as validated what I suspected for so long РI am not alone in facing challenges to a more healthful way of living. Regardless of the issue one faces, it is clearly more difficult to care for ourselves than it is to serve the needs of countless strangers.

Let me share some of the survey results…

Respondents were overwhelmingly female and over the age of 45 yrs. I suspect that is not a surprise to anyone reading this. Over 66% of respondents worked in acute hospitals, health insurance companies/health maintenance organizations, or for a worker’s compensation company.

How much continuous sedentary time do you spend at work (e.g., desk work with only activity being to retrieve a fax, restroom break)?
Answer Options Response Percent
0-1 hour 4.9%
1.1-2 hours 7.3%
2.1-3 hours 4.9%
3.1-4 hours 0.0%
4.1-5 hours 17.1%
5.1-6 hours 9.8%
6.1-7 hours 24.4%
7.1-8 hours 12.2%
More than 8 hours 19.5%
Do you take time to exercise every week, optimally for at least 30 minutes?
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes, I exercise 7 days a week. 2.4%
Yes, I exercise 5-6 days a week. 17.1%
Yes, I exercise 3-4 days a week. 24.4%
Yes, I exercise less than 3 days a week. 9.8%
No, I do not exercise regularly. 43.9%
Other 2.4%
Does your company have an onsite exercise program, gym, or fitness benefit (e.g., gym membership, incentive discount, access to wellness coaching)?
Answer Options Response Percent
Yes, and I participate/use it regularly. 17.5%
Yes, but I do not participate/use it regularly. 2.5%
Yes, but I do not participate/use it. 20.0%
No 47.5%
Other 12.5%

These are just three (3) of the questions posed in this informal survey, but perhaps you are picking up on the alarming themes of non-engagement.

  1. A majority of respondents are sedentary for at least 4 hours at work.
  2. All respondents work in the health care industry.
  3. Almost half of respondents’ employers do not provide a fitness benefit or access to wellness coaching.

Future articles that I have authored/co-authored on this topic are slated to appear in Professional Case Management and Case in Point. These all speak to the growing un-wellness within the ranks of case managers in the United States. From what I see, it is safe to say that if we do not start to address our own lifestyle issues, there won’t be many of us left to care for those countless strangers. Couple that with the fact that there is a recognized shortage of incoming case managers and the field of case management is facing the dire consequence of extinction.

It is time to take action.

It is time to start Case Managing Ourselves©

Will you join me?

Best of health,