A care coordinator job is often the single most important role involved in the care of any individual patient. Supervising interdisciplinary care by bringing together the different specialists whose help the patient may need, the coordinator is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the care delivered.
Educational requirements for the position vary. A nursing degree is often needed but in some cases, a degree in a related field, such as health care administration, will suffice and can take your career in care to the next level.
Care coordinator job responsibilities.
Given the wide remit of the job, a care coordinator’s regular duties can be quite varied. Each piece of work they do begins with a meeting with the patient, kinship carers, and other family members to discuss their needs, the services available to them and the help they want.
A care plan is drawn up on this basis and the coordinator is then responsible for contacting other care departments or agencies to ensure that services are delivered appropriately.
Daily tasks generally include the following:
- Developing care plans and rearranging them as necessary when difficulties arise.
- Visiting patients, checking on the care they've received and documenting it accordingly.
- Working with the care team to evaluate interventions and identify where and when further ones will be required.
- Reading, attending workshops and liaising with professional bodies to stay abreast of developments in the field.
As in other careers in care, a coordinator needs to understand the importance of listening to patients and respecting their rights as well as adhering to relevant laws and to the standards of care upheld by the employer. Given the team supervision aspect of the job, the coordinator must also be responsible for team safety.
Typical working environments for care coordinator jobs.
Care coordinators are needed across a number of fields and within a number of different working environments. They may be office based and focused on providing care to elderly patients in the community or they may be hospital based and responsible for organising the care of patients with a particular sort of health problem. Some care coordinators are based in specialist clinics where they are visited by patients instead of, or in addition to, visiting them at home.
Importance of the role.
From the patient’s perspective, nobody is more highly valued than the care coordinator, who is their go-to person if their needs change or if something goes wrong with service delivery. Many elderly and disabled people have highly complex needs and would struggle to coordinate with all the relevant services directly. The care coordinator relieves them of this burden and ensures that there are no gaps in service provision.
Ensuring seamless service provision significantly decreases the risk of the patient deteriorating and thereby reduces the overall cost of care and the likelihood that additional interventions will be needed in future. At its best, this work enables a patient to recover some independence to the point where some interventions may no longer be needed. It is ultimately the care coordinator who can make this happen.