When you hear the word “concierge,” you probably think of the comfort services you can enjoy in fine hotels and resorts. As of late, people have begun applying this concept to healthcare, as well.
Concierge medicine allows patients to pay a subscription fee to retain the services of a clinician. In return, the healthcare professional gives this patient individualized and on-demand care.
Concierge healthcare is a deviation from the traditional fee-for-care service model, which can benefit someone looking to work outside a clinical environment such as a hospital or medical practice. It’s a field that is becoming more accessible as nurses look to get away from volume-driven employers and healthcare networks. Concierge nursing is a relatively new and appealing career direction for nurses who want more control over their work lives.
What Is a Concierge Nurse?
A concierge nurse is typically self-employed and provides personalized care to a patient on a subscription basis. The nurse goes to the patient, so they don’t have to enter a hospital or make an appointment at a clinic. The patient doesn’t pay for every service since the nurse works on a retainer basis. Instead, they pay a fee of the same amount on a regular schedule, whether they need the nurse one day a month or 30. They also pay when they have no immediate need for nursing care.
The point of choosing a concierge nurse is to have someone on call and available when and where you need care. The nurse comes to the patient whether they are at home, in the office, or out in public, and some even travel.
Nurses can choose the type of subscription services to offer. These subscription plans can be anything from hourly to yearly. Nursing services, resorts, and corporations can also provide concierge plans. Even some hospitals and healthcare networks offer concierge nursing services.
What Does a Concierge Nurse Do?
A concierge nurse does the same as any nurse — care for patients. The difference is where they do it:
- In homes
- At bedsides
- In hotel rooms
- At business offices
- On the road
- And more!
A medical concierge nurse assists patients in navigating healthcare systems and offers treatment wherever you need it.
Types of Concierge Nursing Services
A concierge nurse is an independently practicing RN who is usually not working for an agency, hospital, or physician’s office. That means a concierge nurse can offer any service that a patient requires, so long as it is within the scope of nursing practice.
Services could include:
- IV infusions
- Medical escorts
- Wound care
- Palliative services
- Private care in a hospital or facility
- IVF injections
- Post-op care
- Wellness support
- Patient advocacy
Nurses can offer specialized services, too, based on their training and interests. For example, an RN Flight Coordinator helps make travel arrangements for patients with special medical needs. Nurse practitioners may provide prescriptions, order tests, and make diagnoses, as well.
Concierge nurses may specialize in:
- Cardiac care
- Respite care
- Palliative care
- Mental health
- General medical or nursing care
- Cancer care
- Home care
Any specialty available to a nurse or a nurse practitioner is also available to the concierge nurse.
You can work as a freelancer or for a firm that allocates patients to you. In concierge medicine, you can work with organizations or individual customers, and your tasks may be similar to those of case management or discharge planning nurses, depending on your job.
The Benefits of Concierge Nursing
The benefits of concierge nursing services reach both the patient and healthcare industry employees. For nurses, it gives them more control over their practice and the number of patients they manage and allows them to spend more time with each patient. That combination can reduce burnout and on-the-job stress.
They also don’t worry about the administrative issues they might encounter if they work as a home or travel nurse. For instance, they don’t have to deal with insurance companies or wait to get paid by Medicare
Patients may get higher-quality or specialized care and perhaps a better overall healthcare experience. In addition, they eliminate the need to wait for medical care and avoid the insurance company run around.
Even other healthcare professionals can benefit from concierge nursing. It is a way for hospitals and healthcare networks to offer a new service that can make up some of the revenue they lost with the changes to the payment systems.
How to Become a Medical Concierge Nurse
The first step, of course, is to get a nursing degree. Ideally, you would get at least an associate degree to become a registered nurse (RN). Going from RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing could significantly improve your opportunities, though.
You also need to get licensure in your state, which requires you to sit for an exam. From there, the qualifications to become a medical concierge nurse vary. The more education you get, the more advanced or specialty services you can provide.
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires you to get a graduate degree in nursing but may be worth it because it allows you to prescribe medication and offer advanced medical services. In the U.S., nurse practitioners must have an additional 500 hours of clinical training.
Once you get the necessary training, you can decide whether to open your own concierge service or work with other nurses and physicians. You can also work with an organization or nursing service and have patients assigned to you.
If you are a nurse considering transitioning into concierge medicine, think about what earning an advanced degree can do for you. You could move from RN to BSN to MSN, and even find a path to a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree right here at the American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Science at Post University.
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