By Michelle M. Crook, BSN, RN, CRRN, CCM, BCPA

In a world that often seems to spin uncontrollably along with mounting responsibilities to consume our time, efforts and energy, magical moments can seem unrealistic and unattainable. However, they are there, waiting for us to discover and enjoy. Just stop—look—listen—and feel.  Your magical moments await.

As case managers, we share a common mindset and drive.  We work hard, really hard.  We conquer the challenges that come our way with grit and determination and we become masters at multitasking.  We frequently put the needs of others before our own.  We juggle, prioritize and reprioritize, talk, type and forge ahead.

Magical moments can occur in many forms. At times, it’s the sincere “thank you” that comes unexpectedly, the glint in the eye of someone whom we have helped, the sigh of relief because we are there, a slight upturn of the corners of the mouth or a full-out, gleaming smile, or a deep look-in-the-eye fleeting moment that needs no words.  That’s the connection.  That’s the magic.

Patients, families, clients and colleagues with whom I have worked throughout my nursing and case management career have created countless magical moments for me.  They have kept me afloat on those days when I needed someone to throw me a lifeline and they remind me of how important it is to reciprocate.  We have the capacity to savor our own magical moments as well as to create them for others.  Be sure to add that to your “to do” list, as it’s just as essential.

So, in the midst of our nonstop, busy case management days, remember to take the time to stop—look—listen—and feel, for the magic is there for you.  It will renew your energy, bring you joy and make cherished memories that last a lifetime.

Michelle M. Crook received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Northern Illinois University.  She has a well-rounded professional background and carries the following qualifications in addition to her Registered Nurse credential:  Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, Certified Case Manager and Board-Certified Patient Advocate.  Throughout her nursing career, Michelle has been a strong patient and family advocate and has a wealth of experience in both clinical and business healthcare settings.  Michelle serves as a State Advocacy Ambassador for the Celiac Disease Foundation, is an American Heart Association CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor and volunteers for her local health ministry.  Her areas of expertise include neurology, clinical case management, care transitions, healthcare advocacy, and clinical program management.  Michelle is also a published author and has a passion for writing.  She is currently the Clinical Programs Director for the Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation.

For more from Michelle M. Crook, read "Taking Care of YOU After a Layoff" in the latest issue of CMSA Today.

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