1. Treiger, Teresa M. RN-BC, MA, CCM, CHCQM, FABQAURP

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I start this column hoping to adequately express my deep appreciation and gratitude to my co-columnist, colleague and friend, Mindy Owen. Her Heartbeat of Case Management legacy spans 13 years. It has been a learning experience and a joy to work on this column with Mindy. I wish Mindy good fortune and blessings whatever her next adventure may be.


So, what happens next? The Heartbeat column continues on, faithful to the original intent of focusing on the human side of case management. This remains the forum to tell your stories. The Heartbeat of Case Management speaks to common themes affecting case managers. Here, we take a storytelling approach to sharing our stories, writing from your heart more than from your head. Do you have something to say about case management? This is the place to do it as a guest author. Join the ranks of those whose words have graced the Heartbeat column over the years.


Perhaps, you wonder, What on Earth of value do I have to say that anyone else would be interested in reading?" Well, that is a question I pondered too. After a bit of hand-wringing, I came to the realization that case managers related to each other's stories because we experience similar, if not the same, challenges. Consider this, when you are discussing a situation with your colleagues, has there ever been a time when no one offered a suggestion for you to consider? It is because we relate to each other's stories. Your story will definitely ring a bell of familiarity for other case managers.


Maybe, you only have experience writing business documents. Business writing usually undergoes a lot of editing by more than one person within your organization. Taking your words to a more prominent national publication might seem too daunting a task, but it really is not so intimidating when you think of it as sharing a situation or theme, how you feel about it, and the impact it had on you. Think of it like you would journal writing.


So what else is stopping you? The publication process seems to be a barrier for some people. It is the unknown, but believe me, the process is the easy part because you are guided along the way. There is always someone available to help. Do not let uncertainty about the process be your stop sign.


Another hesitation for new writers is going an unknown path alone. Even with support, you may not want to take this on by yourself. It is perfectly fine to ask someone, perhaps a colleague who is already published, to coauthor a column. Many established authors (myself included) work with someone else in their early writing days, and many continue lifelong collaborations.


As a final point, consider the CMSA Standard of Practice, Professional Responsibilities and Scholarship. This is a less emphasized, but no less important, standard that some consider a bit more difficult to demonstrate. Whether you write or mentor another writer, you are demonstrating adherence to this standard.


To summarize, I charge you to take a leap of faith. The Heartbeat of Case Management provides a perfect forum to share case management-related experiences with your colleagues. If you are up to the challenge, reach out to me at mailto:[email protected]. Remember that all fantastic journeys begin with a single step.