Nurse Case Managers in the "Triad of Care"

Monday December 17, 2007

What is it? Nurse Case Managers (NCMs) are an essential component of the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) "Triad of Care," which also includes the Primary Care Manager (physician) and Squad Leader. The case manager collaborates with the Soldier, family, and Triad in all aspects of the Soldier's care, treatment, and service.

The nurse case manager is the "go to" person for the Warrior in Transition (WT) in clinical care. An NCM schedules the WT's clinical appointments, and coordinates with other care providers, support personnel, and specialty programs. As a facilitator, the NCM helps the team deliver the best possible care for the WT and Family. As a care provider, the NCM is sensitive to and advocates for the WT's recovery.

All Registered Nurses, these licensed health care professionals pay close attention to concerns the WT or Family may have. They also educate and instruct WTs on their medications and treatment plan, and assess patient progress.

What has the Army done? The Army has increased significantly the number of nurse case managers available to the WTU. WTs with multiple, complex medical conditions require more individual attention, so boosting the number of NCMs improves care, and gives the WT a healthy sense of the possibilities for recovery.

Training also has received a boost. This includes case documentation, health care assessment and monitoring, and working with specific health issues, like traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? The role of the nurse case manager in the Army is fairly new. NCMs' training continues to be developed and expanded, as their roles develop and expand, while they help WTs and families through the recovery process.

Why is this important to the Army? From start to finish, the NCM ensures a seamless transition for the WT back to duty or to civilian life, working with the Department of Veterans' Affairs and other organizations, to establish follow on care. In that way, the NCM enhances WT and Family quality of life, and is critical to the success of the All Volunteer Force.

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