By Susie Ratterree, ADN, BSN, CCM
We have all heard the catchphrases, “What goes around comes around,” “You get what you give,” “You reap what you sow,” and “Karma”. Does that pertain to your professional life? Sure, it does. You are mentoring new case managers, becoming active in public policy, conducting research, or developing new processes to improve outcomes, be more efficient or cost-effective. You may be volunteering your time in your community or donating to your choice of worthy causes.
For me, it is a combination of all these things, I have had a great career as a nurse case manager and feel it is time for me to give back to my profession. That is one reason I ran for President of the CMSA Foundation. I believe in the mission and that we all need to help each other be the best that we can be. Being President is one way I can give back to my profession by helping develop programs and activities that support case managers and advance our profession.
Although I have retired, I continue to get phone calls from folks asking about different things. I practiced disability case management for 20 years and feel it is time for me to utilize that experience and help others whenever I can.
Recently a colleague of mine asked for help in applying for disability. She has a family member that was diagnosed with cancer and lost their job all in the space of 60 days. Getting the diagnosis of cancer is devastating enough without the added stress of losing income and benefits. I gave information to my colleague on how to apply for employer-sponsored disability and Social Security disability. Their family member has a diagnosis for which Social Security will normally expedite the decision. My colleague expressed appreciation and stated, “This helps me to prioritize my efforts when I have so much stuff to navigate through.” This was another immediate and tangible way of giving back, using my knowledge and experience to help others.
Let us add another catchphrase to our cultural wisdom coined by my predecessor, Deborah Gutteridge: “Everything we do comes back to you.” Giving to our community or other organization makes us feel good, so the question is, “What are you doing to give back?”
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Susie is a graduate of the University of St. Mary, Leavenworth, KS, where she obtained a BSN and is currently licensed in Missouri and Kansas. Her professional background includes hospital, home health and hospice care as well as 20 + years of experience as a nurse case manager in a variety of settings, including workers’ compensation, managed care, group health, independent consultant, rehabilitation, and disability management. Susie earned her certification in case management in 1995 and continues to maintain this designation. Susie is active in the Case Management Society of America, serves on numerous committees locally and nationally, has held multiple offices on the executive board for her local chapter. She is currently serving as President of the CMSA Foundation. Susie is active in public policy activities and has participated in meeting and educating legislators about the value of Case Management, the Case Management Model Act and the Nurse License Compact Agreement.