When providers come to work at Vera, they can count on a clinically integrated health coach in every care center to support the care team and walk alongside patients. Whether you’re interested in becoming a Vera health coach or you’re a provider who would like to practice the full breadth of your expertise in a patient-centered care model, keep reading.
This post will walk you through Vera’s health coach selection and onboarding process, and it will illuminate how integral (and integrated) health coaches are for every care team.
Selecting team players with relatable experience
We hire health coaches from many different backgrounds because we're really interested in core coaching skills. We start by looking for coaches who:
- Are National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches
- Are trained in appreciative inquiry
- Are trained in the Transtheoretical Model
- Have experience in motivational interviewing
- Have coached for at least one year
We look for experience: Ideally, we seek people who know what it feels like to work in healthcare. People with this experience know their day can change to meet the needs and realities of patients and care teams, and being adaptable and able to manage those developments are important skills of every Vera health coach.
We look for team players: We want candidates who are excited to work on a team — because our coaches play a collaborative role in our primary care centers. While we recognize that coaches often have one-on-one health coaching sessions with patients (and speaking as a Vera Coach Operations Manager myself), we’re ultimately responsible for the care of our entire population.
We look for a growth mindset: We also want people who are hungry to learn and are eager to grow. Coaching is a process, and we need frequent training. When candidates demonstrate they’re open to feedback and learning new skills — that they’re available to try different things — they are more likely to want to grow and sharpen their coaching skills.
Training coaches to support providers and patients
Once a candidate is selected, they go through a four-month training. (Ours is the first program in primary care to be approved by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching.) Not only do new Vera health coaches learn from skillful instructors and teams, they also walk away from training eligible to sit for the National Board for Health & Wellness Exam.
Our health coach training is a blend of self-paced online training, resources, and virtual, classroom-based coursework that includes:
- Integrating into a primary care team
- Coaching in the Vera model
- Sharpening coaching skills
- Documenting in an Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
- Health and wellness education
It's a robust program where health coaches get a lot of one-on-one support, classroom time, and resources to assist them at their own pace.
The training helps candidates develop what it takes to be part of a primary care team. And it gets new health coaches thinking about the things they can do to champion their role throughout the care center — as well as the best way to integrate with providers and patients.
Don’t want to wait to join the health revolution? Visit our Careers page to review open positions and apply today!
Hands-on integration starts early
We work to make sure the health coach is integrated from the very beginning. New Vera health coaches get their own personal mentor throughout their training. This provider offers real-time feedback and invites the new coach into appointments and other opportunities that might otherwise be delayed.
Part of the in-center training includes shadowing providers in appointments with patients, as well as behind the scenes. In fact, we encourage our coaches to sit in the back with our providers so they can be there on call with members of the care team.
Sometimes the provider or the patient doesn't realize that a health coach could add more value to their appointment. So we make sure our health coaches are available — not only for scheduled appointments but also for those on-the-fly conversations to make sure we're supporting our patients and our providers.
The Vera difference improves results and morale
Vera’s key differentiation is the recognition that trust is foundational to develop the patient-provider relationship — and it must be earned. Vera health coaches develop trust by building empathy and rapport with providers and patients, which reverberates in positive ways throughout each care center. Health outcomes improve for patients, and care teams feel heard and supported.
When personal stories and statistics of provider burnout are becoming more and more prevalent, it’s reassuring to know that there are care models designed to put people above profit. Few things in the workplace feel more rewarding than seeing your daily contribution benefit the people around you — and our health coaches certainly fulfill that need and so much more.