Culture | Careers | Diversity

From nursing to health care management: A career growth story

Our professionals know what it takes to make health care work better for everyone. At Optum, we’re pursuing our mission with a team that brings diverse skill sets and perspectives to every challenge.

For team members like Rina P., that means combining a clinical background with managerial expertise to help deliver the most effective, efficient health solutions possible. Let’s take a closer look at a typical day for Rina, and discover how her work helps people live healthier lives.

Tell us about your role.

I’m an assistant manager under the prior authorization department for Optum Rx. My main responsibility is leading the day-to-day operations of 13 nurses who review prior authorization requests from providers. Our team focuses on determining if a particular drug, brand, formulation or quantity is appropriate to the patient’s diagnosis and can be safely dispensed for a given period of time. Overall, our work helps to manage costs, control misuse and protect patient safety.

How does your workday begin?

Like many, I start my day by drinking coffee, but it’s not in the morning. Here in Manila, my shift starts at 9 p.m.

Can you give us an example of something you’ve been focused on recently?

Right now, one of the things I’m working on is a time and motion tool. Once this tool goes live, it will help quantify and analyze the efficiency of our nurses in reviewing prior authorization requests of our members and providers.

As a manager, what do you do to connect with your team?

Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a lunch break at a nearby restaurant. This can honestly be my favorite time of the day. We get to share our personal experiences, which helps me connect with my team on a deeper level.

What’s a challenge you’ve faced in managing your team?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we transitioned to having our collaborations and meetings virtually. With that shift, it was important for me to pay attention to the health and overall well-being of my team members. I believe that we can serve our customers better when we ourselves are in our best state.

Do you feel like working at Optum aligns with your individual perspective?

My personal values mirror Optum’s core values, from integrity and compassion to innovation and performance. I see my role here as an extension of these values. I know my work is helping to provide optimal and unbiased care to the customers we serve.

What do you find most rewarding about what you do here?

I may not be practicing as a nurse in a hospital, but the work I do with Optum definitely gives me a sense of fulfillment. That’s one thing I appreciate about our team. We understand the value we bring to the health and well-being of our members.

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