Annual conference prevents CM burnout
How Baby Love keeps CMs happy, effective
They work with difficult people. They solve difficult problems. And for three days each year, they are honored for their efforts.
The Baby Love Program brings its maternal care coordinators together once a year to tell them they’re doing a good job, teach them new skills they did not learn in their school of nursing or social work, and give them the support they need to go back out and do their job well for the next 12 months.
"We pat them on the back. We teach them all the things they need to know, but never learned. For example, in nursing school I was taught how to provide care for someone who is substance abusing, but not how to get someone who is substance abusing into treatment," says Lynda C. Dixon, BSN, RN, state Baby Love coordinator with the North Carolina Division of Medical Assistance in Raleigh. (For a description of the Baby Love Program, see story, p. 128.)
They all face similar struggles’
The annual three-day conference includes a banquet and awards ceremony and brings in exhibitors from across the state for care coordinators to meet. "The conference really helps prevent burnout. It seems to give care coordinators the strength to carry on by making their jobs easier," says Dixon. "It also helps for care coordinators to meet each other and realize just how big and how important the Baby Love Program is statewide. Care coordinators are given the opportunity to network and start to realize that they all face similar struggles. They share resources. Most importantly, they go back to work feeling supported and appreciated."
A little appreciation goes a long way, she adds. "This year we celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Baby Love Program. We recognized care coordinators who had been with the program for the entire 10 years. And there were quite a few."