Hospice case managers work with people nearing the ends of their lives. They are responsible for evaluating their patients and providing the care and services that are needed. Their certification or licensing requirements depend on the education and career background they are coming from.
A hospice case manager specializes in coordinating end-of-life healthcare and social services for patients and their families. Utilizing a nursing or social work background, a hospice case manager may be employed by hospitals, home healthcare agencies or hospice organizations. A college degree is required, and many case managers are registered nurses, while others are social work professionals.
|Required Education||Varies; many hold master's degrees in social work, while others have degrees in nursing|
|Other Requirements||Professional certification not required, but useful|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) *||10% for social and community service managers, 17% for medical and health services managers|
|Median Salary (2016) **||$61,212 for hospice nurse case managers|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
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Hospice case managers provide support and counsel to clients who are facing terminal diseases and conditions. They typically coordinate a collaborative hospice care team that may include healthcare providers, at-home care services, mental health specialists and spiritual advisors.
Hospice care managers may be clinical social workers who have been licensed by their state after completing a master's degree program and gaining work experience. They may also be registered nurses with educational and clinical experience that's prepared them for a state licensing exam. A hospice case manager may hold the Accredited Case Manager designation from the American Case Management Association or the Certified Case Manager certification offered by the Commission for Case Management Certification. These voluntary certifications have education and work experience requirements and may require passing an exam.
Hospice case managers evaluate a patient's physical condition and develop a care plan that addresses any medical needs and social services. They coordinate the efforts of medical and nursing team members to provide appropriate care. They also address the psychological needs of patients and their families through counseling and education efforts. Hospice case managers who are licensed registered nurses may also provide hands-on nursing care to clients.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect salary data specifically for hospice case managers; however, it does provide information for the related careers of social work and nursing. According to May 2015 BLS data, the mean annual wage for social workers in the healthcare industry was $54,020. In that same year, registered nurses earned a mean annual salary of $71,000. In addition, PayScale.com noted that in January 2016, most hospice nurse case managers earned between $49,360 and $74,916.
Hospice care managers organize teams of people to meet the needs and wants of their clients. Before taking their position, they may be registered nurses or social care workers. Both of these positions have their own licensing requirements, but there are also voluntary certifications available that attest to a candidate's skill and experience in this field.