Chronic Disease Management Coordinator

Many public health services focus in preventions and intervention for ensuring community wellness and safety.  In some cases, such as with chronic illness, the concern shifts to management, coping, and rehabilitation.  This aspect of the public health sector is a rapidly growing field that addresses special populations within the community and provides assistance which can improve quality of life.

The demand for people who are able to educate and support individuals with chronic conditions is becoming higher as the population ages.  It is also increasing in needs as veterans return from overseas and require treatment for chronic conditions that have arisen from environmental factors.  The job of chronic disease management coordinator is an extremely rewarding career path that can offer you the chance to become familiar in a number of specialties as you advance in your own employment.

What Is A Chronic Disease Management Coordinator?

The position of chronic disease management coordinator is actually a specialization within the nursing field, which allows you to apply your practical knowledge to the creation of care programs for chronic conditions.  This job incorporates programs within a clinical setting and as community outreach and education extensions, in order to provide access to services for all patients who are in need of treatment and condition management.  Thus, you will be able to combine applied practice with a theoretical framework to better serve the community.

Some chronic disease management coordinators will focus on a few conditions that are prevalent in the community you are working with.  However, for larger municipalities with more diverse demographics, you may need to have a working knowledge of treatment and rehabilitation for a greater amount of diseases.  This will also require you to come up with valid implementations that accurately address all of the public needs.

As a chronic disease management coordinator, you will be expected to perform the following tasks:

  •   Work with facility personal to establish care strategies for chronic diseases that are prevalent in the community.
  •   Plan and develop, as well as implement and direct, a program that provides services for chronic disease management.
  •   Coordinate a database of statistics and narratives for tracking progress and efficacy of treatments and program outcomes.
  •   Oversee educational literature for patients and for staff.
  •   Develop and lead outreach to the community through lectures, health fairs, and other public events.
  •   Provide direct patient care within the parameters of the program you have developed.
  •   Educate and train staff in new methods of approach for chronic disease management.
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The job of chronic disease management coordinator combines both practical and administrative aspects of nursing.  In order to excel at this job, the following skill should be strong points:

  •   Interpersonal skills:  You will be interacting with your healthcare team members as well as the public, but you will also be filling a mediation position in many situations.  This will require that you can accurately and diplomatically act as the go between for staff and patient needs.
  •   Communication:  Not only will you be required to train and update staff members, but you will also need to educate the public about services and treatments for chronic disease management.  Further, you will need to be able to outline your program strategy and provide clear goals and timelines for implementation. 
  •   Team building:  Since you are working in a healthcare facility with established staff members, you will also need to effectively create workgroups to perform different tasks.  This will require that you can not only relate and work with your staff, but also that you can identify supportive personalities when establishing your teams. 
  •   Critical thinking skills:  In developing your treatment program, you must be able to identify community needs and determine the most effective way of addressing them.  This will require that you are able to devise comprehensive solutions that fit the parameters of budget and resources. 
  •   Inspirational leadership:  Part of implementing a healthcare program is to be able to inspire your staff and the public to become as invested in the efforts as you are.  This is going to include clear direction as to outcomes, as well as a passion for building a better treatment system through community.

Nature Of The Work

The position of chronic disease management coordinator will combine your practical nursing skills and knowledge with the administrative and research tasks of running a successful health intervention program.  You will be working out of a clinical facility and along with training your team members, you will also be assisting in the duties of care alongside them.  This will allow you to better assess the benefits of the program, and to identify obstacles in the plan as they arise.

You will also be required to track the progress and report this information back to facility board members.  Beyond the healthcare setting, you will be interacting with the community to assess their needs, review current management strategies, and provide education and support in both individual and group settings.

Education And Training

As a specialty within the field of nursing your will need to have graduated from an accredited school of nursing and have passed your licensing exam to practice as a Practical or Registered Nurse in the state in which you are employed.  Thus, the school expectations for this position can range from as little as a two year certification for LPN to a four year RN or Bachelor of Nursing degree.  Continued education and certification for different specialties will be a definite benefit but is not always a requirement.

Experience does play a large part in pursuing a career as a chronic disease management coordinator.  Most facilities will look for a minimum of three years of working in a community health setting, and at least a year of experience in treating and rehabilitating patients with chronic conditions.  This is beyond the two to five years of general nursing practice that is expected.

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While you will have gained some aptitude with administrative duties as an LPN or RN, further experience in management is also a good qualification.  For some facilities this can be a requirement, but it can vary between municipalities.  A solid background in health intervention planning and implementation will also be a consideration that may be expected experience in applying for the position.  This can often be met through technical training courses if it is not something you are already familiar with.

The demand for nurses in the field of public health is high in general, and expected to continue to increase by nearly 22% over the next decade.  For the more specialized position of chronic disease management coordinator, this growth is slightly lower at about 20% for the next ten years, but the turn over for a public health position is much lower.  This is mainly due to the fact that positive community health implementations become integrated into social conduct, and thus allows for programs with positive outcomes to be self sustaining.

Along with the security that is offered by this position, the average national salary is just over $45,000, with wages as high as $110,000 for larger municipalities or applicants with greater experience and qualifications.  This can allow you to advance with the success of the programs that you implement, and to serve larger sectors within the public.  A career as a chronic disease management coordinator allows you to establish new protocols for public health as well as push yourself to achieve greater job satisfaction.  

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