“Vickie, you taught me how to deliver a quality work product. The respect attorneys give me is priceless.”
– Lezlie Moore-Purcell
RN, MN, CEN, CLNC
Registered nurses confidently talk to physicians every day, but when Vickie Milazzo Institute exhibits with legal nurse consultants at legal conferences, we notice they’re practically terrified when they first discuss legal nurse consultant jobs with attorneys.
Of course the legal nurse consultants’ nervousness is unwarranted and before the day is over they are leading conversations, bossing the attorneys around and describing their unique selling position (USP) and how they can help the attorney understand electronic medical records with ease.
They’re loving the experience of those onsite legal nurse consultant jobs interviews and are relieved to learn attorneys are no scarier than MDs, who aren’t scary at all.
If you’ve ever experienced an attorney on the other side of the witness stand or deposition table you might classify all attorneys as intimidating adversaries, but when interviewing for legal nurse consultant jobs, you will quickly learn that attorneys are people just like you. Trial attorneys can be a lot of fun. They must persuade jurors, experts and judges in legal cases so they have to be charismatic and entertaining. They also possess a wicked sense of humor and know how to have a good time. We’ve all had fun experiences with MDs, but RNs know that physicians often take themselves too seriously. Humanizing attorneys is the first step to overcoming unwarranted fears of interviews.
Focus on the Attorney’s Needs
Attorneys need you and they know they need you because you have nursing knowledge, experience and the inside perspective of the workings of the healthcare system they don’t. MDs need you too, but many physicians naively believe they know everything a nurse knows plus more! While attorneys perceive you as an equal and see your rich nursing experience as an asset to win cases, physicians often see RNs as assistants who are expected to do what they’re told. This sets MDs up for viewing nurses as less intelligent and may explain why physicians are known to talk down to registered nurses. In contrast, attorneys see the legal nurse consultant as a collaborative partner and don’t expect you to just follow orders. They need your opinions, ideas and recommendations. Legal nurse consultant jobs interviews are an opportunity for you to show and specifically articulate how you will meet the attorney’s needs and benefit the litigation team.
Assert an Opposing Viewpoint
Don’t worry, attorneys know that you’re working toward the same goal – to win the medical case. When you disagree on an issue the attorney actually appreciates your assertiveness and is quick to invite a dialogue regarding your opinions and the basis for your opinions. When RNs disagree with physicians, their egos frequently kick in. For example, if an RN attempts to direct an MD to write a more appropriate medical order, that physician might get competitive and even combative. MDs don’t like to admit an RN is right and they’re wrong. Heaven forbid a registered nurse argues with the physician or goes up the chain of command. Attorneys, on the other hand, know that even when the legal nurse consultant is against them, you’re for them. They want to learn from you and are receptive to opposing opinions because they’re trained in law school to always consider opposing opinions themselves. They can’t possibly win a case without understanding the opposition’s position. Legal nurse consultant jobs interviews are an opportunity to reveal how you hold the key to varied and opposing insights that can be the difference in winning or losing medical cases.
Stand Up to Attorneys Without Fear of Retribution
How many times have you witnessed an MD reporting a nurse for insubordination simply because the RN articulated a different opinion than the MD? There’s no such fear for legal nurse consultants, attorneys won’t do that. While you always want to be professional when standing up to attorneys, they’re not going to slap your hand, reprimand you or terminate you. They’re going to respect you as a professional who stands up to them as an equal.
Graciously Accept the Attorney’s Appreciation
Attorneys are not afraid to say “Thank you.” They’re quick to acknowledge and respect you and treat you with the courtesy you deserve as a professional consultant. Graciously accept all positive feedback. Do not downplay your contributions to the attorney’s litigation success. When the attorney is raving about your performance, that’s the perfect time to ask for attorney referrals. These new referrals become opportunities for your next interviews.
If you can talk to, and even stand up to, MDs you can certainly talk to attorneys. Try these 5 simple ways to overcome your fears of legal nurse consultant jobs interviews for your next attorney-prospect opportunity.
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