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Listening: The Key to Effective Case Management

19 Jul, 2023 Anne Llewellyn

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Sarasota, FL ( -- To carry on with the theme of Case Management Competencies, I wanted to talk about a skill that can help you be an effective workers compensation case manager. This post will focus on the act of listening.

Listening can open many doors and help us as we move through the core components of case management. Listening help us do our assessment and better understand the needs of the injured workers. Through listening we develop a plan of care that will guide our work. Listening allows us to know how the plan of care is working to meet the needs of our patients. By listening, we know if changes need to be made and what those changes are. We improve our work when we listen to the injured worker, the physicians who treat them, the employer, and the adjuster. When we close a case, we can claim the work we did through the outcomes that happened because of the involvement of case management.

So many answers are uncovered by listening – yet because we are in a hurry, stressed in our jobs, we don't take the time to listen.

To be an effective workers' compensation case manager, we must hone listening skills. We need to be active listeners. Active listening is a communication skill that involves going beyond simply hearing another person's words but also seeking to understand the meaning and intent behind them.

Being an active listener will help you gain the trust of those you work with. In the case of the injured worker, through listening, you will learn their needs and gain their trust, making them active members in their care giving them a stake in the game.

Take the time to assess and fine-tune your listening skills. To help you realize the power of listening, I wanted to share a story a friend put on LinkedIn. I think it illustrates the power of listening.

Here is the story:

Viktor Frankl is one of the great psychiatrists of the twentieth century. He survived the death camps of Nazi Germany. His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is one of those life-changing books that everyone should read.

Frankl once told the story of a woman who called him in the middle of the night to calmly inform him she was about to commit suicide. Frankl kept her on the phone and talked her through her depression, giving her reason after reason to carry on living. Finally, she promised she would not take her life, and she kept her word.

When they later met, Frankl asked which reason had persuaded her to live.

"None of them," she told him. What then influenced her to go on living, he pressed.

Her answer was simple; it was Frankl's willingness to listen to her in the middle of the night. A world in which there was someone ready to listen to another's pain seemed to her a world in which it was worthwhile to live.

Often, there are more brilliant arguments that make the difference, but many times it is the small act of listening that is the greatest gift we can give.

Thanks for reading this post. I hope it helps you to realize the power of listening. Have a good week!

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    About The Author

    • Anne Llewellyn

      Anne Llewellyn is a registered nurse with over forty years of experience in critical care, risk management, case management, patient advocacy, healthcare publications and training and development. Anne has been a leader in the area of Patient Advocacy since 2010. She was a Founding member of the Patient Advocate Certification Board and is currently serving on the National Association of Health Care Advocacy. Anne writes a weekly Blog, Nurse Advocate to share stories and events that will educate and empower people be better prepared when they enter the healthcare system.

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