Injury Care Coordinators are the first line of defense in the workers’ compensation process. So, how do they best help employees on their road to recovery?
It all starts with a smile. When a call comes in at Company Nurse, an Injury Care Coordinator (ICC) is there to receive it with a calm, warm tone of voice and a smile on their face.
Being the first point of contact for an injured worker is a role that requires exceptional bedside manner, that can only be conveyed by voice – a skill that Injury Care Coordinator, Robin Bird, and Injury Care Coordinator Co-Lead, Christine Larson, say is essential to the job they do each day.
There is no predicting what kind of calls are going to come, or when. The range of injuries and demeanors of patients is broad, and it is the ICC’s job to be sensitive to the stressful – and at times, painful – situation the individual is experiencing, while also collecting critical information about the injury. Each day, Larson, Bird, and their colleagues work diligently to gather the “who, what, where, when, how and why,” from each incoming call. Detailed, comprehensive reporting is of the utmost importance at this first step, so that when the Triage Nurse takes over next, they have all of the necessary information to discuss the injury further, in order to quickly determine the level of care that is required.
“We must be warm and compassionate, while also, efficient,” says Bird. “We have a very calm work environment. It’s busy, but calm. There is a positive feeling you get when you walk in to work every day.” Bird was referred to Company Nurse a year and a half ago by a colleague working for the company and notes, when speaking about the camaraderie felt in the office, “our people are the biggest assets to the business.”
With an open door policy from the three ICC leaders and a collaborative group of ICCs, everyone works as a team, continuously troubleshooting together and exchanging best practices. Team members are always there to lend a guiding hand to one another, and to find new ways to calm and connect with callers, for the best possible outcome for each injured worker.
Larson joined Company Nurse three years ago, after working as a medical assistant in different hospital and patient care, hands-on medical settings. She was also referred by a colleague and has enjoyed applying her experience in face-to-face to medical care, to telephonic triage. “Every day, you learn and grow,” says Larson. “You learn how to better understand people. No day is perfect and there are going to be some difficult calls. But smiling does help; it helps you stay calm and feel happy, and more importantly, the person on the other end can hear and feel it.”
Larson and Bird agree that the most rewarding and important thing about the work they do at Company Nurse is making the day brighter for the person on the other end of the phone. Helping to calm a distressed caller with the assurance that the care they need will be on the way, is what they strive for daily. “The feeling of satisfaction you get from knowing you really helped someone… that’s the best part,” says Bird.
Company Nurse looks forward to honoring and rewarding its team of Injury Care Coordinators with a special celebration – just for them – July 27.