Certified Case Manager Education Requirements and Career Info

Certified case managers look out for ill and injured clients by working with government agencies, healthcare facilities, courts and other service providers to create a plan for improving an individual's mental and physical wellbeing. Case managers normally have a bachelor's degree and previous experience before earning certification.

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Educational Requirements

Certified case managers generally hold a bachelor's degree. Possible majors include, but aren't limited to, nursing, psychology or counseling. Some individuals also earn a master's degree in health, human or education services or a related field. A few professionals may have an associate's degree in health or human services or be licensed as a registered nurse. Case managers often intern at a clinic or agency specializing in a field of their choice before obtaining a full-time position or applying for certification. Most agencies require certified case managers to have foundational knowledge of social work principles and procedures.

Certification Requirements

Certification for case managers is handled by organizations such as the Commission for Case Manager Certification (www.ccmcertification.org). Most certifications require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum amount of work experience under the supervision of a certified case manager. Once individuals meet the organization's minimum requirements, they're eligible to sit for the certification exam, which makes sure case managers understand case coordination and advocacy, as well as follow-up services. Case managers need to be highly familiar with the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics and the Board of Behavioral Sciences' regulations relating to the delivery of clinical practice.

Career Information

A case manager may work in a variety of fields for a number of different employers. Whether in the medical field or social work, certified case managers plan, monitor and implement services to improve the health or well-being of others. They work with agencies and service providers to ensure that coordination occurs with the handling of cases and information. Certified case managers serve as liaisons between patients, their families and community agencies that offer assistance, such as crisis centers, legal advocates, counselors and educational facilities.

Additional responsibilities involve keeping track of case records and documentation and assuring that agencies have the appropriate information. Case managers work with various agencies, including police, welfare agencies, health clinics and schools. Some case managers participate in educational forums and present on a variety of topics that educate the public on prevention and other issues. If necessary, they execute on-site evaluations of patients and propose alternate treatment plans. These professionals may also be called upon to review a patient's quality of treatment and complete evaluations as needed.

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