Owning and operating a legal nurse consulting business has presented me with unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not in the way many may think. I’ve been fortunate to continue with my typical flow of medical-related cases and the same attorney-clients. I’ve even gained two new attorney-clients through a referral during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though the courts are closed and attorneys are working remotely from home, cases still need to be reviewed and worked up as usual.
I’ve faced some very different challenges in my roles as a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant, business owner, wife and mother of three beautiful girls during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Living with five people 24/7 can be a bit of a challenge while trying to maintain my CLNC® business. In March, schools closed due to the pandemic and my husband started working from home. My office was no longer my office. I went from working alone in my quiet space to sharing the office with my husband. I also went from a CLNC business owner to a CLNC business owner and teacher for my 8-year-old twin daughters. All the while, my home was in the process of being remodeled and our 5 bedroom/3 bathroom home turned into a 2 bedroom/1 bathroom home. Not the ideal time for the house to be destroyed and everyone shifting around with different work and sleep schedules.
The working atmosphere I had created was significantly altered. I had to adjust to different schedules, different priorities, different idiosyncrasies and different noises. I used to always listen to a podcast or music while working. It helped me focus, but my husband doesn’t work this way. He needs complete silence to work. I’ve had to adapt to the oddly loud sound of my husband’s keyboard each time he strikes a key. I’ve had to adjust to being interrupted minute after minute with my older kids coming to ask me a question about a school assignment or to break up a disagreement. It’s not uncommon to hear the sound of “knock-knock-knock” on my office door with the sweet voice of my little 1-year-old saying hi. I had to learn to break focus while working on a case in a moment’s notice – not always easy when you’re deep in thought on a complex case. I’ve had to arrange my business calls for when I can be completely alone, even if that means going outside and sitting in the car by myself or waiting until after the kids are asleep. I’ve had no choice but to adapt. We’ve ALL had to adapt!
Alone time has quickly become a thing of the past. Vacation is non-existent. Simple pleasures like dining at restaurants are not an option right now. Challenges aside, I’m super grateful and blessed during this unprecedented time. My family has remained healthy. I’ve been fortunate to have my babysitter work more for me since her full-time job closed down. I am enjoying much simpler pleasures in life like eating dinner together every night as a family, taking family walks in the neighborhood and growing our very first garden.
Challenges we face in life make us stronger. I do believe there is a reason for everything and someday we will understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will positively impact the future. Stay healthy everyone!
Guest Blogger Profile
Michelle Neal, RN, BSN, CLNC is the owner and president of Neal Legal Nurse Consultants, LLC in Vero Beach, Florida. Her clinical nursing expertise includes emergency medicine and she consults on medical malpractice, personal injury and long term care cases.
P.S. Comment and share the challenges you’ve faced as a CLNC consultant during the COVID-19 pandemic.