Getting back for health professionals
Getting back to work following a workplace injury is an important step in your patient's recovery.
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians' position statement on Realising the Health Benefits of Work highlights that being off work for long periods of time can significantly reduce the likelihood of a worker ever returning to work and can have a negative effect on the worker and their family.
This paper indicates that work plays an important role in any rehabilitation process because 'doing' promotes recovery. If a person is off work for:
- 20 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 70 per cent
- 45 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 50 per cent
- 70 days, the chance of ever getting back to work is 35 per cent.
The role of a treating doctor or other health professional is to explain the injury to the worker and reassure them that their injury will be managed so they can return to work safely. Returning to work is not always possible for everyone, but certifying time off work - particularly when absence is long term - can have significant side effects, including increased rates of overall mortality, poorer physical health and poorer mental health and psychological wellbeing. Communication between you, your patient, their employer and the insurer are all vital to the success of returning to work.
Successful return to work planning involves the injured worker, employer and the health professional working together to achieve the same goal of ‘getting back to work’. It’s important to focus on what the injured worker can do when planning their return to work. Read more about The getting back to work process
Health professionals play an important role when returning a patient to work through evaluating and certifying their capacity for work, arranging treatment and helping set a date for return to work. Read more about Your role in getting the injured worker back to work
Communicating with the injured worker is the key element of your role in the return to work process. Injured workers and their health professionals need to discuss return to work options early. Read more about Getting the injured worker back to work
Resolving barriers in getting back to work Read more about Resolving barriers in getting back to work
- Last updated
- 09 November 2016
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