Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Caseload Check-in

Just before Thanksgiving I was inundated with new patients. I thought I was going to go crazy! Since then, my caseload has dropped to an all-time low of 32. I've had a lot of patients come and go shortly after being admitted. It's strange but nice to be able to focus more time and attention on my regular patients. It's unusual for this time of year, to be sure, but maybe this is God's Christmas gift to me. When my caseload ratchets back up to normal levels, I'll have to remember this calm before the storm.

Merry Christmas everyone! And to all who are grieving or going through difficult times, may you be warmed by the loved ones around you and comforted by God's presence and love.


Bullfighter said...

My God. What is a 'normal' caseload where you work?
I currently have 15, average over 10 years, 35, all time high 42.

Anonymous said...

Mine has been fluctuating between 70-80 over the last 6 months, and I become so very frustrated because I feel like I can't possibly give my patients the attention they deserve at this rate, and I have been putting in tons of overtime. To me this evidences a lack of value for what my agency believes social workers can do for patients and families. It almost seems like it is more important to 'check everyone off of your list' each month, than it is to spend time with patients who ned to see moe more than that. I love what I do, but wish the caseload was lower. To my knowledge, there are no regulations in my state (PA) about caseload maximums for hospice social workers, and I am having trouble finding information about this topic to share with my supervisors. Does anyone have any input, or know of any pertinent literature?

LeighSW said...

My normal caseload is 37-40, with an all-time high of 47. Anonymous, my heart goes out to you! I believe the average caseload recommended by either NHPCO or Medicare is 25-35 patients, with the expectation of 15-25 visits per week. (I can't find the paper with this info but if you email me, I can let you know once I find it- pretty sure it's at the office.) I just found this stat in NHPCO's 2009 "Hospice Care in America" report: "In 2008, the average patient caseload for a home health aide was 9.5 patients, 13.3 patients a nurse case manager, and 24.2 patients for a social worker."