LNCtips.com: The Overconfident LNC
I used to interview prospective legal nurse consultants who told me they were great typists, had effective computer skills, and were wonderful writers. After I hired them, I found out that some of them could barely type, turn on a computer, or write a grammatically correct sentence. I used to think those LNCs fibbed a bit to get their jobs. I now know that some of them really believed that they had excellent skills. Unfortunately, these unskilled, overconfident LNCs affect all of us as legal nurse consultants.
These overly self-assured LNCs submit substandard work product. They underestimate the amount of time it will take them to complete a project, so they miss deadlines. These LNCs don't know how to format a report so they wing it as they go along. They write grammatically nonsensical reports. They're not analytical so they have trouble reviewing medical records.
How do these overconfident LNCs affect the rest of us? For decades, they've left a swath of disgruntled attorneys who paid good money for bad outcomes. Overconfident LNCs eventually drop out of the field, only to be replaced by another batch of eager, overly self-assured legal nurse consultants. Attorneys who were burned once by overconfident LNCs don't hire legal nurse consultants again. That makes it difficult for all successive LNCs, even the ones who know their stuff.
In one way, I'd like to blame the schools that churn out legal nurse consultants with this sense of overconfidence. The schools tell them, "You're a nurse! The attorneys need your nursing expertise!" Of course, that's true, but successful legal nurse consultants use their nursing expertise as a baseline, not an end point. Believe me, not every nurse has the ability and skills to become a successful legal nurse consultant.
While I want to blame the LNC schools, I can't. Studies have shown that overconfidence and incompetence appear to go hand-in-hand with lack of insight about one's abilities. That explains the prospective legal nurse consultants who are convinced that they have more to offer than they really do.
By now, some of you are wondering if you're one of those overconfident LNCs who are spoiling it for the rest of us. I'm guessing that the answer is No since you have the insight to ask the question. In fact, you may be exactly the opposite, and be quite timid. But whether you're timid or brash, you can check out your grammar skills and typing ability by using these free tests. If you want to determine your analytic ability, there are many exercises specific to legal nurse consulting in the text Legal Nurse Consulting: Principles and Practice.
As a hiring LNC, I learned to interview candidates who could demonstrate that they went beyond the baseline. I requested all candidates to submit a medical summary (one that wasn't a case study from their class) so that I could see their writing ability and analytical capabilities. If the candidates passed those screens, I gave them a typing test for speed and accuracy at the time of their interview. I hired about one LNC for every 100 applications that I received.
If you're an overconfident LNC, listen to constructive criticism from seasoned LNCs. Experienced LNCs may not always be right, but there's a possibility that they have a perspective that you don't. And the advice of this seasoned LNC is to pay as much attention to building your skills as you do to finding your first case....Katy Jones
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