Role of Case Managers

In the Milos Forman film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a recidivist criminal serving a short prison term is transferred to a mental institution due to behavioral problems. It is in that institution that McMurphy meets Nurse Ratchet (Louise Fletcher), a bullish, controlling nurse who has cowed the patients into dejected submission and who has the power to keep McMurphy institutionalized indefinitely. A battle for control ensues between the two characters which Ratchet views as a personal affront and challenge to her authority.

Eventually McMurphy is lobotomized before being suffocated by one of the other patients. The release of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came not to many years after the United States began deinstitutionalizing large psychiatric hospitals such as Oregon State Hospital (Salem Oregon), which served as the location for the film. Deinstitutionalization was the direct result of professional concerns that patients were not being taught how to function within their communities. This lack of functionalism was relative to the patient’s dependency on the institution for his or her survival.

According to Meredith (1995), “The community care move was a response to the growing concern and social policy pressure over people becoming institutionalized and less able to cope with normal life and dependent on the routine and narrow confines of long stay institutions. ” This move led in turn to the birth of the case manager. The purpose of this paper is to explain the role of case managers and how the authors personality, previous life and professional experiences, and personal desires will or will not assist in the author assuming the role of a case manager.

Before the reader can understand the author’s role as a case manager based on his or her personal experiences, understanding what a case manager is and the function he or she plays in conjunction with the agency to which he or she is associated must first be understood. According to Challis (1990) (cited in Lee et al 1998), “The basic ides of a Case Manager was then meant to match and co-ordinate different services for psychiatric patients living in the community in an attempt to promote fulfillment of life.

” The role of a Case Manager then is understood as a role where a professional individual (Case Manger) associated with an agency advocates on behalf of the client or patient. According to Bergen (1992) (cited in Lee et al, 1998) notes, “Case Management is about choice and empowerment for people and to achieve this case managers needed to be accessible in acting as advocates and flexible in the manage of resources. ” Serving in the role of advocate requires having an understanding of the community and the many resources available within that community.

Knowing where to refer clients and how to obtain the proper services required serves as a part of the empowerment process for the client. Personal and past professional experiences also play an important role when advocating on behalf of the client. In response to Professor Williams-Hitchye question about how personality, previous life and professional experiences and personal desire affects my role as a Case Manager in agency begins with understanding both the positive and negative attributes of my personality.

According to the Jungs-Myers-Briggs personality test, my personality is expressive, social and creative. I possess an optimistic attitude and like sharing my creative talent with others. According to the test I am skilled in writing, warm friendly, social, open and a good conversationalist. I have the ability to listen to others while making people feel at home. I am conscious of other people’s feelings and emotions and generally have no problem admitting the existence of problems, which I do not usually allow to grow into a depressive state.

These are all positive qualities within the make up of my personality that would serve me well as a Case Manager seeking to empower a client while assisting him or her with moving forward in his or her life. The negative aspects of my personality are that life tends to become frivolous and superficial and that I find it difficult to settle into one place or position. Not settling into one place or position has often been a reoccurring problem for me in the past.

It wasn’t until I enrolled with the University of Phoenix that I came within reach of starting what I finished and meeting one of several goals. Understanding these negatives to my personality will assist me as a Case Manager in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of my own humanity and my clients, thus allowing me to advocate professionally on the clients behalf. My professional experiences in office administration and customer service lends me the skills necessary to be empathic and a good listener with the agencies clients.

That, along with my personal experiences with childhood sexual abuse, marriage, sexual orientation issues, raising children, racist views, religious bigotry, religious life, public speaking, large family dynamics, family dysfunctionalism, financial hardship, depression, suicide, relocation, child support, negative family relationships, bullies, procrastination, and goal planning will help me connect clients with a wide range of resources and services.

The critical factor to assisting clients that all professionals should know is understanding the community where their particular agency is located and the resources available within that community. Knowing how to connect the client with those resources while providing the client the benefit of personal experience and self-knowledge will assist better assist the Case Manger in assisting their clients.

References Hussain, A. (2000). A Discussion on the Role of Case Management within Community Mental Health. Community Mental Health and Social Work, http://www. crescentlife. com/psychissues/role_of_case-management. htm http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/One_Flew_Over_the_Cuckoo’s_Nest_(film)