Carepath Team Corner with Brianna KewellFeeling heard should be part of your healthcare journey

When facing a health issue, it could likely be one of the most challenging times of your life.

Carepath’s nurse case managers help ease the burden. Not only can they help you better understand your health condition and journey, they listen. Feeling truly heard and understood can significantly boost your mental and emotional well-being.

Registered nurse and nurse case manager, Brianna Kewell works with clients in the Chronic Disease and Elder Care programs. Her primary role is to help clients navigate the healthcare system, and connect them to both public and private resources. “Many times, clients will come to us either at the beginning of their health journey, or after they’ve already met with other medical professionals, and are  not sure what to do next. We help them to understand their options and help connect them with programs to support their well-being,” says Brianna.

It’s important to Brianna that her clients feel heard. “I listen to my clients—really hear their full story about their experiences and their challenges—and work with them to understand their goals.”

Holding time for understanding

Brianna explains that client experiences as they go through the healthcare system might often be very brief or confusing. There could be a lot of information to process and understand very quickly. “Holding space for my clients and sharing that time with them so they can feel fully heard, and to explore what’s important to them helps me connect with them on a very personal level,” says Brianna.

This “holding time for understanding” is especially important considering our healthcare system is very complex. When clients are facing a new diagnosis or perhaps managing a chronic diagnosis, there can be several providers involved, such as family doctors, specialists, homecare providers, and public and private services.

Brianna helps explain the system to clients to deepen their understanding of what services are available. She also explains the steps required to access each program. “I find that helps clients understand their options,” Brianna says. And to further enhance that guidance, clients can reach out to Brianna as many times as they need to.

“As questions or new conditions arise, we’re able to provide health coaching and evidence-based information. This adds to clients’ health literacy and their understanding of their condition. I also help them advocate for the care and services that they need.”

A full circle of support

Brianna recalls an example of how Carepath’s full circle of support made a significant difference in a client’s healthcare journey. “One of my clients had seen several specialists and providers, but didn’t feel like they were getting the right answers about what might be causing their complicated group of symptoms. They didn’t feel as though any one provider was able to give that unified diagnosis,” says Brianna.

She goes on to talk about how that client was frustrated and feeling lost about what to do next. “We supported them through a virtual second-opinion process. This helped to provide clarification and tangible next steps for the client to take back to their local care team, with some insight from another specialist.” Brianna recalls how grateful the client was for having that additional review, and for her services and emotional support during the process.

Brianna says the gratitude her clients feel is her best reward. “They’re grateful to have someone help them understand and manage their next steps.  It’s satisfying to know that I was able to help them move forward in their health journey.”