When a near fatal motor vehicle accident sidelined this kitchen worker, hospitalising him for three months, the road to recovery was always going to be lengthy. But in this case, extra assistance from health care providers, a positive return to work experience and good pain management education has helped this worker get back to work.
The injuries the 21 year old sustained in his accident included liver, renal and spleen lacerations and a right wrist fracture.
Early communications between WorkCover, the injured worker, and his wife, indicated the progression was not as expected, the worker should have been doing more, and felt he was able to do more.
We arranged appointments with a rehabilitation and pain management provider to assist with physiotherapy and hydro therapy, but the worker had already fallen into depression, due to his progression not being as good as he wanted. We arranged adjustment to injury counselling to assist with the emotional side of the accident.
After an eight month period of rehabilitation, the worker was ready for a graduated return to work, and a plan was agreed with the worker, their employer, the GP and the rehabilitation provider to allow him to return to work on reduced hours and suitable duties. The plan focused on his capability – what he could do, rather than what he couldn't do.
While the injured worker reported fatigue and some pain on his return to work, he was able to cope well with this, thanks to the education he's had around pain management, and knowledge of what he can and can't do.
The worker is now working several shifts a week, and his rehabilitation continues to be positive, a great outcome for everyone involved.