American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants

Smallwood Takes Helm of the American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants

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Mary Smallwood is a veteran of the USAF. Smallwood gained tremendous experience while working as a travel nurse throughout the United States. After spending much of her career in a variety of geographical locations and medical settings, she decided to lend her experience in nursing to the legal community.

Smallwood’s experience includes critical care nursing, emergency room nursing, home health, hospice, cardiology, neurology/stroke units, orthopedics, respiratory, nephrology, oncology, utilization review/risk management, and case management. This broad nursing background allows her to provide the legal community with experienced-based medical record review, analysis, and reporting that is extremely thorough. Smallwood’s 25 years of experience in the medical profession, along with her broad range of knowledge in medicine, makes her one of the leading experts in medical record review and consulting.

AALM: As the new president, what are your goals for the association in the coming year?

MS: We have always had our meetings in person with non-attending members being able to join us remotely via their computer. Since Covid forced us to start doing all the meetings via computer, we recently met the goal of recording our meetings so our members and guests can go in at their leisure and watch the meetings. This also has allowed us to get educational speakers from all over the nation. We have also started a mentorship program to help new legal nurses just starting in the business.

AALM: Tell us about some upcoming events the association has planned for members.

MS: We have a speaker lined up for May who will speak on impairment in the workplace. It is always a good topic, and it is also a continuing education requirement that Florida RNs need to renew their licenses. We are also working on an education day that is also going to be geared toward the LNCC certification exam for those legal nurses seeking to take that exam.

AALM: What benefits are there to attorneys who become actively involved in the association?

MS: Attorneys frequently reach out to us to connect with legal nurses that can assist with their cases.

AALM: How has your involvement in the association benefited you and your career?

MS: The Greater Orlando AALNC has connected me with people that I otherwise would not have met. I have gotten work opportunities which gave me valuable experience when I was new to the business. I have also taken information from the educational meetings to further my knowledge.

AALM: How do you think it could benefit others like yourself?

MS: It can do the same thing for others. There are lots of networking events that turn into employment opportunities. Those opportunities can and should be used to further one’s career as an LNC.

AALM: What advice do you have for a member looking to increase their involvement in the association?

MS: Come join us for a meeting and see how you like us. We are the largest AALNC chapter in the nation.

AALM:  For a member hoping to join the leadership?

MS: First you need to be a member, then the natural progression is to join the board as a director at large and progress from there.

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