by Patricia Deal, CRDAMC Public Affairs
FORT HOOD (Now designated Fort Cavazos), Texas–Dawn Hawk became a nurse to help people. She became a Nurse Case Manager to elevate her level of care that much more.
“Yes, as a nurse in the different clinics I served in, I certainly was able to help my patients on a day-to-day basis. The difference is that now as a Nurse Case Manager, I’m able to spend quality time with my patients, develop a long-term relationship and help them for however long they need,” said Hawk.
Nurse Case Managers are advocates who help patients with complex medical needs to understand their medical status, work out a plan and guide them through all the medical, educational and social aspects during their treatment plan.
Hawk, who works for Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s Intrepid Spirit Center/TBI Clinic said she thinks the multi-disciplinary approach to case management is especially beneficial to both patients and providers. The well-rounded experience she gained during her career as a nurse in different clinics is also a big benefit for her patients as she can provide valuable insight to the many aspects of care and treatment options.
“Patients with complex medical issues have to have individualized treatment plans involving different medical and behavioral health providers. Nurse Case Managers stay in constant communications with all the different providers to ensure we’re all in synch to provide the optimal care for our patients,” she said. “I’m also looking at many other areas that I can help my patients such as dealing with the VA, arranging any home healthcare needed or transitioning from military to civilian.”
While all nurses help patients, Hawk said she finds nurse case management most rewarding, especially when patients thank her at the end, telling her that “this is the most anybody has completely cared about them.”