The Advantages of Including a Registered Nurse as a Part of Your Life Care Planning Team
As the healthcare system becomes increasingly complex, the need for professionals who can navigate it is more important than ever. That's why registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) with their extensive experience in patient care and understanding of the healthcare system are ideal candidates for the role of life care planner. It’s important to understand the advantages of having a registered nurse or nurse practitioner as your life care planner, or as part of your life care planning team.
What is the role of a registered nurse in life care planning?
A nurse can play an important role in life care planning, with the background and training to thoroughly understand and evaluate the history and current status of a patient’s injury or illness. With that information, they then have the ability to communicate effectively with treating physicians and other providers to create a comprehensive plan for future care. Because they are trained to educate their patients on disease processes and navigating the healthcare system, they are uniquely qualified to relay this information in a precise and effective manner to clients, attorneys, and jurors.
Because nurses are involved with conducting health assessments, coordinating care among healthcare providers, advocating for patients, and implementing healthcare plans, nurses can use their expertise to optimize a life care plan that helps a patient receive high-quality care and support, providing peace of mind to patients and their families. With clinical experience and expertise to review physical examinations, medical histories, and even laboratory test outcomes, a nurse can bring a different perspective to creating or evaluating a more comprehensive care plan for individuals with chronic or complex health needs, based on having the knowledge and skills necessary to provide insights about high-quality care for a patient.
How is nursing experience a big advantage for a life care planner?
Having a nurse practitioner as your life care planner has many advantages. Their deep understanding of patient care, familiarity with the healthcare system, attention to detail, ability to communicate effectively, and comprehensive approach to patient care make them ideal candidates for this role. Nurse practitioners begin their careers as nurses, who are taught from the beginning how vital communication is. Because of their knowledge of illness and injury, nurses can explain medical terminology and processes in simple terms. Not only can they effectively communicate with their patients, this carries over to interfacing with doctors, physicians, and even jurors. Nurses are educators, and this background prepares them to teach and ensure understanding of any future needs a patient may have.
Deep Understanding of Patient Care
One of the most significant advantages of having a nurse as a life care planner is their extensive experience in patient care and their knowledge of disease processes. Nurses have first-hand experience in caring for patients with a wide range of medical conditions and injuries, and they understand the physical, emotional, and financial impact these conditions have on patients and their families. This knowledge enables nurses to create a comprehensive life care plan that encompasses the patient's medical, emotional, and financial needs.
Familiarity with the Healthcare System
Another advantage of having a nurse as your life care planner is their familiarity with the healthcare system. Nurses understand the complexities of the healthcare system, including medical procedures and the costs associated with care. They also have relationships with medical professionals, which can be essential when creating a life care plan that includes medical treatment and therapies.
Attention to Detail
Registered nurses and NPs are trained to be detail-oriented, and this skill is essential in life care planning. Life care plans require meticulous attention to detail, including medical and nursing diagnoses, treatment options, and costs associated with care. Nursing experience in patient care, medical terminology, and medical documentation enables them to create detailed and accurate life care plans.
Nurses understand that patient care is not just about treating the medical condition. It's about addressing the patient's physical, emotional, and financial needs. Nurses take a holistic approach to patient care, and this approach is valuable in life care planning. They see the human aspect of patient care, and have the ability to look beyond current treatment to what needs a patient will have in the future related to their current injury or illness. A life care plan created by a nurse considers not just future medical needs of the patient but also their emotional and financial needs.
Advice for Clients About Looking for a Life Care Planner with a Nursing Background
When looking for a life care planner, it's essential to consider their background and experience prior to life care planning, especially if you're looking for someone with a nursing background.
To help you find the right life care planner with a nursing background, make sure to:
- Look for a life care planner with a nursing degree or nursing experience. This will ensure that the planner has the necessary knowledge and skills to assess your healthcare needs and develop an appropriate care plan.
- Consider the planner's experience in working with patients with similar needs. This will ensure that the planner is familiar with the type of care and support you require.
- Check the planner's credentials and certifications.
Look for planners who have earned certification in life care planning and nursing. This demonstrates their commitment to continuing education and professional development.
- Trust your instincts.
Choose a planner who makes you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to provide the right recommendations for care and support that leads to a better quality of life.
Navigating the legal and healthcare systems can be overwhelming, especially for clients who have experienced a catastrophic injury or illness.
At MacKenzie Life Care Planning, working with a life care planner like Kerri Martin, MSN, RN, FNP-C, CLCP can help clients navigate these systems and provide comprehensive life care planning services.
Kerri has extensive experience in all areas of surgery and primary care and has worked in clinical areas such as infectious disease and critical care. Her experience as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner gives her a deep understanding of patient care, disease processes, and the healthcare system. Her training enables her to be able to look at the big picture regarding patient care, and she continues to use that holistic view in creating and reviewing life care plans. As a certified life care planner, Kerri consults with both defense and plaintiff firms, creating and reviewing life care plans and cost estimates.
Clients who work with Kerri can expect her to take a comprehensive approach to life care planning. She understands that patients' medical, emotional, and financial needs are all interconnected and need to be addressed when creating a life care plan. Kerri will work closely with clients, medical professionals, and legal teams to ensure that the life care plan accurately reflects the patient's needs and goals.
Kerri’s experience as a critical care nurse, family health nurse practitioner and surgical nurse practitioner gives her context when working with individuals undergoing surgeries, complications related to surgery or other complex medical conditions.
In addition to her experience as a registered nurse and certified life care planner, Kerri is a member of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, Texas Nurse Practitioner's Association, and East Texas Nurse Practitioner's Association. Her memberships in these organizations reflect her commitment to staying current on industry trends, legislative changes, and advancements in life care planning.
Clients who are interested in working with a life care planner should consider Kerri's expertise and experience in the field. Contact MacKenzie Life Care Planning today to learn more about our life care planning services and how we can help you.