A Day in the Life
How did you get started in health care?
Healthcare was never something I was interested in. Even though I come from a family of nurses, I always thought I was going to do end up doing something else with my life. Even though my mother had always pushed me to go into nursing, I always resisted. I got to a point in my life where I did not know what I wanted to do. I was in community college, taking different types of classes, constantly changing my major. I finally got to a point where health care sounded like a nice, stable field to go into. So I began to take classes that satisfied the pre-requisites for the nursing program. I eventually got into nursing school and graduated with an associates in registered nursing (RN) at the community college level.
After graduating, I received a job offer at a skilled nursing facility and because of the nursing job shortage at the time, I jumped on it. I worked at the skilled nursing level for about four years and decided to go back to school to obtain my bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN). After achieving my BSN, I was able to use my new degree and previous experience to help me get the job that I currently have.
What’s your current job and what does it require?
My current title is: Hospital Liaison, Registered Nurse. I work for a medical group and manage our members who are admitted into the acute hospital setting. My job is continues to evolve, so my responsibilities change and grow on a regular basis. My roles as a hospital liaison in the hospital include being a case manager, discharge planner, inpatient concurrent reviewer, primary care physician liaison, and everything in between. My larger goal is to make sure every patient of ours receives the best possible care in and out of the hospital.
I spend about half of every day interacting with our patients directly and half of the day meeting with doctors and case managers about our patients and where they currently are in their treatment or recovery processes. I am also responsible for reporting everything I learn during the day to my team, so they can know the status of our patients.
What was the training like for becoming a liaison?
Much of the training to become a hospital liaison came from first-hand experience in the position. I’ve had to learn a lot on the job. For example, during the orientation process I had to learn new programs, like our electronic medical record system, which both my employer and the hospital use. There is no real training manual for this type of position. The processes, responsibilities and the technology change all the time, which means my job description and training are also always changing.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
Working directly with patients is my favorite part of the work. In my previous job, which was also on the administrative side of health care, I was in an office all the time and didn’t like how removed I was. I’m definitely a people person.
I also like the room for growth in my current position. It’s challenging and there are lots of opportunities for learning.
What’s your best advice to anyone considering becoming a hospital liaison?
Volunteering at a hospital is the best way to gain experience and figure out if you would like to work in that setting. That experience lets you absorb the culture, meet fellow health workers, and ask them questions. Also, even if you are only interested in the administrative side of health care, I still recommend getting some nursing or other hands-on health experience.
No matter what you decide, treat every challenge or change as a learning experience, whether it’s good or bad. I think things happen for a reason, and mistakes are often the best opportunities for learning and growing.