From the Heart
No Place Like Home
Meet Patricia McFall, RN, CCM
Patricia McFall, RN, CCM, is a nurse case manager at Genex Services where she helps injured workers return to their highest functional level, no matter the severity of injury. Below is an example of how Ms. McCall helped a young man regain his independence after surviving a devastating accident.
“Mr. C,” a 23-year-old male, sustained a workplace injury when a ladder he was positioning hit an electrical line sending 19,600 volts through his body. The accident resulted in multiple injuries, including severe burns on his hands and feet. More critical was the anoxic brain injury diagnosis which affected swallowing, memory and other cognitive functions. His hometown facility did not have an aggressive rehabilitation center and Mr. C was beginning to decline both physically and mentally because of it. He was then moved to a Georgia facility that could provide the advanced care he needed. It was at this time that Ms. McFall was assigned as his case manager.
Case management impact
Ms. McFall established a primary goal with the treatment team — to help Mr. C return to independent living by helping him redevelop the skills to live alone, drive a vehicle and perform at a job. Under her direction, Mr. C immediately began cognitive, speech and physical therapy. Ms. McFall also assisted with Mr. C’s driving evaluation, which identified undiagnosed vision issues.
Ms. McFall also worked closely with Mr. C’s family to help them adjust to his new long-term cognitive deficits and motivate them to help Mr. C reach his functional potential. The efforts began to pay off. Mr. C passed his first driving evaluation and was able to drive within three miles of his home. He also began using the city transportation system which increased his independence.
Approximately three years after the accident, Mr. C was released from medical care but he and Ms. McFall continued working with the vocational team to prepare him to return to the workforce. As the workers’ compensation case manager, Ms. McFall coordinated evaluations and team meetings to have Mr. C’s vocational abilities thoroughly assessed. Though testing indicated his concentration and memory issues would not allow him to successfully hold a job at the time, Mr. C started volunteering at a thrift store as a cashier and in an office setting for another company.
This was a very involved case and Ms. McFall was active on every level in team coordination to identify deficits and provide treatment allowing Mr. C to live independently and integrate back into society. By the time Mr. C was ready to return to his hometown (his own personal goal), he was driving and attending social activities such as church and volunteering.