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Inspired career change for recovered worker

Rachel Murphy's work injury hasn't stopped her from pursuing her dream and changing her career, in fact, it has motivated her.

Rachel was working as a bottle shop attendant near the Gold Coast, when she seriously injured her shoulder while lifting cartons of beer.

Her agonising injury was accepted as a WorkCover claim.

Following shoulder surgery, Rachel could not do any physical work for six months to give her shoulder time to heal fully.

“The first three or four months was pretty bad, pretty painful and frustrating,” Rachel said. “I was limited in a lot of what I could do. It was a slow progression.”

Rachel was committed to her twice weekly physiotherapy and her recovery exercises to give herself the best chance to get back to work. You can listen to Rachel's story in her own words, or continue to read on below.

When it came time to re-join the workforce, WorkCover helped Rachel secure a temporary job with a host employer in the aged care sector, because she was unable to do her bottle shop attendant job due to the strain on her shoulder.

Host employment is a temporary arrangement, organised by WorkCover that connects motivated injured workers with safety conscious employers. Host employers can offer suitable duties which can support an injured worker's safe recovery and improve their work fitness, which is an important step in their recovery.

Rachel had already started studying, and was working towards achieving a Certificate IV in Ageing Support, when she got her host placement at a Bupa aged care facility at the Gold Coast.

“It's an area I'd never been in before, and being with a host employer really, really helped. It helped guide the direction I wanted to go in,” Rachel said.

After completing her course and her temporary host placement, Rachel secured a permanent position with a high care disability facility run by Youngcare.

Rachel has nothing but praise for her new employer. “They are wonderful people to work for, it's a really good company, the best employer I've ever had,” she said.

She has some fantastic advice for others who may be injured at work and facing a job change or potential career change to get back into the workforce.

“Find something else that you can be passionate about that you can do. It's not the end of the world, you can find other avenues of work.

“Maybe you might have to source something else, or put a bit of effort in, but at the end of the day you're responsible for yourself. Have a bit more imagination on what you can do and think outside the box,” Rachel said.

As for how Rachel's WorkCover case manager, Kelli, supported her? Rachel has nothing but praise. “She has been there through the whole entire process, making sense of everything. I trusted that I knew she had my back. She made sure that everything was fair and she could get the best outcome for myself, and I really appreciate it.”

Find out more about rehabilitation and return to work.