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Archive for the ‘Services’ Category

Putting Health First With Our Working Well Program

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Patient doing some exercises under supervision“Health first”. This is a common idiom uttered by nearly all of us. And it’s likely that it’s become such a popular term due to its sheer obviousness. It’s true, isn’t it? Our health does come first. Because without our health, what else would we have? Clearly, it’s not possible to truly enjoy life without being able to live every day pain and illness-free. And it’s certainly not possible to be able to function adequately at work when there are health issues.

It goes without saying that your workforce is important to you. The fine individuals that make up your staff are the lifeblood of your business. They help for your company to function on a daily basis, and without them, your brand’s operations would cease to exist. Therefore, as a business owner, “health first” is an idiom that you also take seriously as it relates to your employees. At Independence Incorporated, we strongly support that way of thinking.

Our “Working Well Program” is designed to assist businesses with implementing the best practices possible to ensure that health and safety are key components to the working environment. We have devised a plan to address the health concerns of your team so that we can prevent injuries, manages stress and provide early intervention of musculoskeletal injuries. Our multidisciplinary team consists of a Registered Nurse, an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist. And here’s what they provide.

1. Injury Prevention. “Knowledge is power” is yet another idiom that’s been thrown out there to connote how important it is to be educated about the issues that affect our everyday lives. In many cases, staff members require information to be delivered to them about the various ways that injuries can be prevented on the job. Our program’s education and training seminars go a long way in educating your team about the many ways to keep safe on the job.

2. Worker Wellness Support. Naturally, we expect to minimize the number of injuries that occur in the workplace with all of the education that our program provides. However, there is always the possibility that an injury can occur. And, of course, some jobs present more dangers than others. Our In-House Physiotherapy Programme works to rehabilitate those who have suffered injuries in order to promote a more speedy recovery.

3. Work-Flow Improvement. Sometimes, the biggest risks to our health and safety are found in the machinery, tools, supplies and materials that are being used in the workplace. Our program seeks to identify improper and unsafe body mechanics and provide feedback that serves to correct particular issues that may be deemed as dangerous. By making particular changes in the workplace, we strive to improve the overall safety conditions for all of your employees.

4. Work Re-Entry Support. As you know, there are some injuries that will require employees to take time off of work. In such cases, it may be necessary to facilitate an adequate work re-entry program. This way, the employee can experience a smoother transition when coming back to work after a prolonged absence due to injury or illness. By putting health first, your company will be given the opportunity to foster a stronger staff and therefore, a stronger business.

Your business is important to you. That goes without saying. So it should also go without saying that your employees are very important to you as well. At Independence Incorporated, we work to ensure that your team is well taken care of. And that helps to take care of your business. For more information on our “Working Well Program”, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by calling 204-474-2228 or emailing victor@indep.ca.

Taking on the Resume

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BY: Lisa Borchert BA., RVP. Vocational Rehab Consultant. Independence Incorporated

Why it is a difficult but mandatory tool to the return to work process

Remember the old expression – “if I had a nickel for every time I heard that” Well, I wish I had a nickel (or a loonie) for every time I heard a client say “I have no skills” or “I’m not good at anything” and “there’s no job out there for me….”  

The return to work is difficult, often frightening and challenging on many levels. And that’s going back to the pre-disability job! A job where you know the people, the routines, the culture, the physical layout and you know your position and its expected outcomes. You have a coffee buddy, people smile and nod and say hello and know your name. You know where the bathrooms are. You know who rules the water cooler. You know what the company does and what your role is or has been. You know the bus route and where to park.

Now imagine going to a completely new job – different job different employer – doing work you’ve never done before, probably using skills you haven’t used extensively in your work history or using newly acquired skills. You know no one, can’t find the bathroom or the lunchroom without help, don’t really know what it is you are supposed to be doing and don’t know who to ask, or even if you can ask. New jobs are scary to some degree for everyone, whether you are a seasoned executive making a planned job change or an average guy getting hired at a new place. Every first day produces stress at some level. So imagine, if you will, that you’ve been injured, can’t do the only job you’ve ever done and you know in your heart your company isn’t going to take you back. Wouldn’t take you back / couldn’t take you back, doesn’t matter – there’s no place for you there and now you have to live through yet another potentially traumatic event – transitioning to a new job.

I’ve done it. Twice. It was hard each time. And what did I say the first time…”I’ll never get hired, no one will hire me, I have no skills”.   What was it my friend said at the time, “No one wants to hire 40 year old women like us”……    wrong!

So now we come to the title of this little piece. The resume. The little tool that does it all, the true multitasker.   Working with your return to work clients to create a resume can be so much more than simply creating a document for answering job ads. The resume is a clearly laid out statement of skills and abilities that spotlights what each individual client is good at. It doesn’t matter if it’s putting up drywall or programming firewalls every person has talent. As a voc rehab provider it’s my job to help each client recognize and identify those talents.

The resume process is at least as important and rewarding as the finished product. By moving the clients to the point where they recognize and believe that they have talent, skills and abilities they begin to believe that they are deserving of a new job; that they have something to offer, that someone might actually want to hire them and that they have not worked 20 years for nothing. I have seen it proven many times that the resume process can be a powerful shot in the arm for lagging confidence and low self-esteem.

What is the resume process? Simple and sometimes not so simple, it’s all communication. Sit down with your client, no time limit and be prepared to dig for information. I never let a client get away with things like ‘I did the morning mail’, ‘I assisted the manager’, I was responsible for’…no skill is identifiable in those phrases, there are no verbs. (Action words, I love them!) I dig for specific tasks; as I recently told a client the word ‘assisted’ could mean anything from ‘I brought coffee’ to ‘I did all the work and got none of the credit’. Probe for verbs, did your client research, proofread, build, program, lead, delegate, teach, measure….you get the picture. It’s an action film.

For many clients this process is difficult and very emotional. Routine jobs done over long periods of time with little or no recognition wear away self confidence and can make workers feel like they don’t have any skills any more. They just do the same thing every day, by rote and possibly with their eyes closed and one hand tied behind their back. It is important to remind clients that while they see it as routine, potential employers see it as a desired skill. Being able to do it well with minimal training on the new job is a benefit for everyone – less training time for the employer and an easier, quicker transition for the client.

For clients who can no longer use long time skills and must seek alternate employment the resume process can be even more difficult. It is important to identify the transferable skills and identify how the client did their job, what professional traits do they exhibit on the workforce – patience, detailed, organized, efficient. What does the client do in their life or in volunteer activities? The resume can’t change a work history but it can highlight skills, talents and abilities that are relevant to where the client is going right now.   And that is what a good resume does; it is a forward thinking document designed to get someone where they want to go, not keep them where they’ve been.

Some clients will fight you every step of the way. I think there are two main reasons.

  1. Lots of people think they are fabulous resume writers. They can use the template from MicroSoft Word. They have a friend or relative in HR or management and they get good advice. They don’t need you nor do they want to be part of the process.   Definitely putting up barriers.
  2. Creating a resume is hard work. Emotionally. Not only does it demand thinking of oneself in a whole new light, but it also means that a job search is imminent. It is concrete evidence that they are leaving the past and moving to the future, the scary unknown future. When clients feel they are not ready to return to work the resume, or even the thought of the resume process becomes frightening and up go the roadblocks.

Resistance is futile. In the end no one can resist a good voc rehab provider. Here’s where that communication comes in. It’s important to explain to a client that writing a resume is a process and that the finished document has no best before date. Wherever the client is in return to work planning there are benefits to at least beginning the process. One is identification of skills which leads to job discussion which leads to the realization and belief that possibilities exist. The second benefit is increased self awareness that begins re-building the confidence that leads to that glorious moment when the client sees themselves reflected in the resume as a viable, hirable professional.

So that little resume has accomplished a number of important tasks. The process helped create a solid working relationship with you and the client, it brought the client on board to see themselves as being in the process, it demonstrated the value of the client for a new employer and right there in black and white that little resume showed the client a skill set he never knew or had forgotten he had.

That little resume, crafted uniquely with, and for each client now spotlights possibilities for a successful job search or at the very least (or most) helps move the client to the point where the very words job search don’t bring on a cold sweat. The client is moving forward.   And that is what it’s all about.

Now I wish I had a loonie for every time I heard…”If I were an employer, I’d hire me”.

Proudly Providing PGAP

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Physical therapist working with patientPrepare yourself for a major understatement: returning to work after a long layoff due to illness or injury is hard. And while such a statement is quite obvious, it needs to be underlined that, for some individuals, rehabilitation is simply a harder process than it is for others. There are a number of factors that need to be considered to understand why. And they often surround the circumstances that lead to the person’s illness or injury.

Keep in mind that there is an emotional component to being unable to work. Not only is a person dealing with the physical pain that comes with his or her condition, but it can be mentally straining to not be able to perform functions in ways that he or she once could. As a result, getting one’s self to a state where he or she is not only physically capable of working again, but emotionally ready is incredibly important.

This is where Independence Incorporated is able to help. We proudly offer a special program to assist with such situations called PGAP. And what is PGAP? It stands for Progressive Goal Attainment Program and it’s a standardized intervention program that spans ten weeks. Its primary objective is to increase a patient’s rate of progress during the rehabilitation stages. You may have noticed that the word “intervention” has been used to describe this program.

PGAP is especially designed for those who need additional assistance during their layoffs from work. The program seeks to step in when necessary to help with those who are experiencing pain-related limitations. As we alluded to earlier, these limitations are not exclusive to physical capabilities. Many people whose illnesses or injuries are keeping them from their workplaces have fears about their impending returns.

Those with psycho-social issues such as a fear of re-injury or a pessimistic outlook are ideal candidates for PGAP. The program prioritizes disability reduction over pain reduction. Generally speaking, a patient will be referred to PGAP six weeks post-injury. Early intervention, we find, is key in the successful support of those who require our help. And PGAP can occur during the same time as other treatments are taking place.

At Independence Incorporated, our experience has shown us that PGAP, in fact, increases the success rates of treatments provided to those who are in the rehabilitation process. Thus far, PGAP’s return-to-work outcomes are approximately 65 to 75%. All that is required to take advantage of this program is to have us assess your client. Once the assessment is complete, we will be able to determine if an intervention is necessary.

During the ten week process, we provide two reports to unveil our discoveries and reveal information about the patient’s progress. One report is delivered at the halfway mark, after the fifth session, and the final report is provided at the completion of the PGAP program. We’re actually quite excited to be providing such a service. PGAP is known as the first-ever disability prevention program created to address psychosocial risk factors for pain and disability.

At Independence Incorporated, we completely understand the struggles that ill or injured individuals have with overcoming their challenges. Physical pain naturally leads to emotional anguish. And this can present barriers that require a little extra help getting over. PGAP has been particularly effective for those suffering from chronic musculoskeletal conditions, whiplash, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

For further information about PGAP, please don’t hesitate to call us at 204-478-6644.

Finding Perfect Fits Through Our Job Search Assistance Program

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Teamwork at officeFinding a job can be tough. And it’s even tougher when you haven’t been a member of the work force for some time. Naturally, when a person becomes ill or injured, it’s important for him or her to think with a “health first” attitude. So, when a person recovers, he or she may not have been thinking about working for quite a while. In many cases, people recovering from health issues have the opportunity to return to their original jobs.

And, in many other cases, recovered individuals need to seek new employment. As you can imagine, many of them have a “where do I go from here?” state of mind. And that can be expected. It makes sense that they would need some assistance with finding a new job. This is where Independence Incorporated’s “Job Search Assistance Program” comes in. It is designed to comfortably reacquaint job-seekers with the world of work.

Essentially, the program begins for our clients once realistic and reasonable occupational choices have been decided upon. It is tailored to the specific and unique needs of each individual client. This way, we know that we will be helping to put the right people in the right job positions. It’s hard enough to return to work after a long layoff as it is. The last thing anyone would want would be to begin a job that he or she is uncomfortable with.

There are a number of components to the “Job Search Assistance Program”. As you may have guessed, it begins with finding the answers to some of the more obvious questions that one would ask when it comes to beginning a job search. What lines of work are you interested in? What type of work experience do you have? What are your strongest attributes and talents? We then move on to performing some or all of the following components of the program.

Regular client meetings. By meeting with our clients on a regular basis, we are able to establish the various responsibilities and obligations we have during the job search process. The meetings include discussions about setting goals and establishing an activity log. Naturally, some of the above listed questions get answered more clearly during this step of the process. It’s all about finding our clients the right fit.

Resume preparation. As you can imagine, a major component to landing a new job position is preparing an adequate résumé. Last month, in our “6 Steps To Creating The Perfect Résumé” blog, we offered a number of great tips to help job-seekers to get it right. This component of the “Job Search Assistance Program” also includes interview coaching and network development. Our most recently posted blog, “6 Steps To Having Strong Job Interviews” is also an important read.

Daily review of classified employment ads. There’s nothing like looking for a job when you’re…looking for a job! It’s important to put in a concerted effort to locate as many employment opportunities as possible before deciding upon the ones you wish to interview for. We review newspapers and the internet for job postings but also work with a network of employment centres to help our clients find well-suited job opportunities.

At Independence Incorporated, we’re very mindful of the stress and pressure that people endure when they are out looking for work. Our efforts make it easier for clients to locate jobs that they are best suited for. A less stressful approach to job finding makes the entire process a lot more worthwhile. For more information about our Job Search Assistance Program please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Assessing Our Home Assessments Through Q&A

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Disabled rehabilitationA significant injury or illness is never a welcome circumstance. However, for thousands of Canadians, such an occurrence is an inevitability that requires significant rehabilitation. Naturally, time must be taken from work to battle such hardships, as a person’s health always comes first. This is why before a person returns to work, he or she must take the very important steps to ensure that the return to work is done at the appropriate time.

At Independence Incorporated, we offer Home Assessments as one of our many services. It’s important that individuals are able to perform all of the necessary functions that are required for living in their homes before they are able to get back on the job. As part of our assessments, we address issues such as accessibility and stressors – both actual and perceived. We also look to determine the number of responsibilities that may affect a person’s ability to handle everyday tasks.

Once an appropriate home assessment has been completed, we are better able to gauge whether or not a person who has sustained an injury or illness that has kept him or her from work is able to return to the job. As you can imagine, there are a number of questions that need to be both asked and answered in order to make the right decision. At Independence Incorporated, we seek to complete thorough examinations by performing a Q&A session.

Has there been a significant change in the working conditions? Depending on the amount of time that a person has taken off of work, there may have been some changes to the job itself. It’s important for us to determine if those changes are ones that can be handled by the returning employee. We seek to discover if there are any limitations that the employee may have before green-lighting the way back to the workplace.

Can the job at work be modified? In some cases – even when the working conditions may have remained the same – the returning worker may have some of those limitations we mentioned. If so, we seek to discover if any modifications can be made at the workplace to make the transition back to work more comfortable for the employee. It’s also important to know if further physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation are necessary.

Has there has been a change in the employee’s health? There are times when an injury can significantly change a person’s health. After all, rehabilitation can certainly take a toll on a person. So while an injury may be healed, the employee may still require other methods of recovery in order to achieve greater strength, energy and endurance levels. Before one can return to work, he or she clearly needs to be healthy enough to do so.

Is there a new medical condition that may limit a returning worker’s effectiveness? If an employee’s health has changed, the job description for that employee may need to change as well. In some cases, a person can return to work, but not necessarily to do the same tasks that were asked of him or her before the injury or illness took place. If a limitation reduces or prevents a person from performing a job effectively, a new position may be a better fit.

Can the employee safely return to work? There are, of course, those situations when an employee is simply not healthy enough to return to a job in any capacity. Further rehabilitation is necessary in order to get a person to a state of readiness. And this is very important. Returning an employee to the workplace before he or she is capable of doing the work is bad for both the business and the employee. A home assessment helps greatly to make the right decision.

Of course, there are a variety of other questions that we answer to make sure an employee is ready to return to the job. For more information about our Home Assessments, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Looking At Our Three-Point “Vocational Rehab Assessments”

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Happy businessman and businesswoman posing back to backWhen an employee is set to return to work after a long layoff, it’s a process that is far different than when a brand new employee enters a workplace for the first time. Of course, there is generally on-the-job training required for both situations. But when an individual who has suffered an injury or illness has been away from the workplace for a significant period of time, he or she must endure a sensitive process before the return.

Naturally, sensitivity is required to handle delicate situations. And depending on one’s reason for the layoff, particular steps may need to be taken to ensure that the transition from the hospital to the home and then to the job is as smooth and comfortable as possible. At Independence Incorporated, we offer “Vocational Rehab Assessments” that enable us to meet with clients to assess their abilities to return to work safely.

The process is often done over three “points”. The three point assessments seek to discover the various issues that may still be persisting through in-person visits. We feel that this is an important process for both the client and his or her employer. And there is a reason why we are so thorough. By conducting all three points, we ensure that our assessments are both complete and accurate. Let’s take you through each point.

One Point Assessment. This is also known as the “Client Interview”. During the one point assessment, an injured or ill client is interviewed in our office. However, we are also happy to accommodate our clients by visiting them in their homes if it is preferred. During this interview, we discover the various needs and requirements of the clients in order to establish his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Two Point Assessment. In this case, we would conduct the client interview, but also follow it with an in-person consultation. This is done with the client’s signed consent. It can also be done through written correspondence with the primary caregivers involved. During this process, we clarify the appropriate support and rehabilitation interventions that are needed in order to maximize the quality of life of our client and his or her vocational rehabilitation potential.

Three Point Assessment. In addition to the client interview and in-person consultation, we pay a visit to the client’s worksite in order to meet with the employer. It’s very beneficial for both the returning worker and his or her employer to be on the same page about the various tasks that are listed as the employee’s responsibilities. Can they be carried out with relative ease or is additional support required?

We seek to answer such a question by focusing on a few key points. Firstly, we wish to clarify any issues that may be related to the client’s performance history. Secondly, we seek to verify if the employee’s work needs to be modified. Thirdly, we assess whether or not there are any worksite conflicts that may exist that could hinder the employee’s return to work. And finally, we look to create a joint team effort approach between management and union.

It is important to note that any information that is related to medical diagnoses and conditions of our clients is not shared with their employers. Employers, however, are entitled to know about the potential of functional limitations that may have resulted from an employee’s illness or injury. If there are restrictions that affect the employee’s ability to meet the demands of the job, an employer must be informed.

For more information about our “Vocational Rehab Assessments”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Discussing Our “Discharge Planning” Services

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Doctor Nurse & PatientBeing able to exude a sense of confidence has a lot to do with being prepared. Quite often, we get nervous when we’re meeting someone new as we may not be sure what to say. Stage fright is a common occurrence when you’re required to speak in front of a large audience. And, of course, beginning a new job always comes with its elements of anxiety. However, returning to a state of normalcy in one’s life can be especially concerning after a long stay in the hospital.

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to ensuring that people making the transition from the hospital to the community are always prepared. Getting people prepared, by the way, means giving them the confidence that they are completely capable of handling the everyday tasks that come with their regular lives, let alone their job positions. It also entails being in the right emotional state.

Needless to say, it can be a bit nerve-wracking to return to what may have become unfamiliar territory. This is why Independence Incorporated offers Discharge Planning services. We make it our mission to ensure that people who are leaving the hospital following their fight with an illness or injury are able to do so comfortably. Through our Discharge Planning services, our staff is able to assist in a number of ways.

In-hospital personal care needs. Of course, the road to recovery begins in the hospital. So before a person is discharged, our staff looks into whether or not certain support services are required for our clients during their hospital stays. As well, we determine if patients require devices that will help for their daily lives to be easier. Again, it’s all about making the transition from the hospital to regular life a lot more comfortable.

Home assessments. What will it be like for patients to leave the hospital and return home? Will they require additional assistance to get around their homes? Do their homes need to be wheelchair accessible or will other amendments to the living areas need to be made to make their day-to-day lives more manageable? These are some of the questions that we answer when doing our home assessments for clients.

Rehabilitation services. Our staff is well trained in making the best possible recommendations for our clients. Before returning to the community, we take a look at the various programs that can be put in place to help them get back to optimum health. Naturally, all of this will have to be done before they can safely return to work as well. At Independence Incorporated, we believe in adequate preparation for each transition.

We know that discharged patients have a lot of questions. They want to know their options once they’ve left the hospital. For example, who may be available to provide home health care? What can they do to help themselves get better? What problems should they watch for? Who can they contact if they have any questions? Not to mention, when a patient is discharged, he or she may still need assistance with everyday tasks.

Who is going to help with bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, climbing stairs, cooking, food shopping, house cleaning, paying the bills and getting to doctors’ appointments? This is especially concerning if there are no caregivers available in one’s family. Answering these and other questions is actually a big part of the recovery process. For more information about our “Discharge Planning” services, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Analyzing Our “Job Demands Analysis” Service

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Portrait of a happy female employee carrying laundry basketA job well done – this is essentially the primary goal of just about every employee in the work force. No matter the industry or type of business, employees are called upon to put forth their best efforts in order to complete tasks with the utmost efficiency. For the most part, workers wish to perform admirably at all times. But, it certainly helps when they are given the appropriate means to complete their jobs to their best abilities.

This is especially important for people who are returning to work after a long absence. When someone has been recuperating from an illness or an injury, it stands to reason that the demands of his or her job are far from being prioritized at the time. Once the recuperation is complete, however, individuals need appropriate time and training to get re-assimilated with their duties. At Independence Incorporated, we offer a service that takes this into account.

It’s known as Job Demands Analysis or JDA, for short. And, as part of this service, we analyze a number job components that are essential to the safe and effective returning to work of employees. Just as importantly, these components are reviewed so that employees can return to work as productive individuals who are given fair opportunities to put forth the necessary efforts that allow them to achieve great successes. Here are few of things we look at.

Physical components. Some jobs require physical labour, and as a result, it can be quite strenuous on individuals who haven’t performed certain tasks for a long time. We analyze such tasks as lifting, lowering, carrying and pushing. We also take a look at the pulling efforts that may affect posture, mobility requirements, aerobic efforts, repetitive motion efforts, shift exposures (frequency and duration), critical tasks and ergonomic concerns.

Environmental components. What is the environment of the work area that employees are returning to? Is it a high-stress environment that involves a lot of noise-inducing hustle and bustle, or is it a fairly quiet workspace? Is it a well-lit open space or is it a somewhat dim, tightly-squeezed corner of an office? Is it air conditioned or hot and stuffy? We analyze such conditions of any given workspace to make sure that it is conducive to safe and productive work.

Sensory components. What senses are workers using the most for their jobs? As you can imagine, someone who works with computers may experience strain on their eyes by viewing a screen all day. Depending on one’s physical condition, this may cause unnecessary harm. On the other hand, a loud environment can also create issues for certain individuals. Ensuring that workspaces are kind on the senses is key.

At Independence Incorporated, we feel that our Job Demands Analysis service is extremely helpful to both businesses and their employees for a number of reasons. Firstly, it assists with a clear communication of responsibilities on the part of both parties. Outlining standard operating procedures is important so that no employee returns to work unclear of what is expected. Accurate job descriptions are encouraged so that all tasks are clearly defined.

As well, we identify high-risk tasks so that we can foresee any potential difficulties by way of ergonomic problems. We ensure that proper training is implemented so that all requirements of the job can be completely effectively. The JDA also helps to develop specific rehabilitation and return to work processes, define work schedules and educate new hires. For more information about our “Job Demands Analysis”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.

Outlining The Benefits Of Our “Return To Work Program”

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Business woman standing with her staff in backgroundEveryone enjoys getting a day off work now and again. A long weekend, a statutory holiday and whenever necessary taking a personal day are all occasions that most workers thoroughly enjoy. It never hurts to get an extra day in there to relax, recharge and rejuvenate yourself for work. But you never want to actually get hurt in order to be able to take those days off! It should go without saying that we all wish to avoid illness and injury at all costs.

Sadly, this isn’t something that we can guarantee ourselves. So when an incident occurs that forces people to miss lengthy periods of time from their jobs, it’s important for them to get the appropriate support they need in order to return to work. It’s not just about returning to work though. Of course, it’s important for employers to have their staff members healthy in order to advance their company’s productivity levels.

But optimizing a person’s health is necessary for the benefit of all those involved – the employer, his or her insurance company, and most importantly the employee. Rushing an employee back to the job before he or she is ready benefits no one. Consider the fact that even when a worker is ready to work again, it will take some time for that person to ease back into the regular flow of things on the job.

This is why Independence Incorporated has a very comprehensive “Return To Work Program”. This very important service ensures that all of the issues related to an employee’s return to work are managed so that the transition is both a comfortable and appropriate one. Again, it’s integral that, for everyone’s sake, a worker is fully capable of the tasks given to him or her when arriving back on the job. Our program, therefore, involves a number of steps.

Clarification of any work related restrictions and/or accommodation requirements. In some cases, employees are healthy enough to return back to work but may not be able to completely manage all of the assignments that they used to be capable of taking on. We ensure that both employee and employee are fully aware of the limitations that may exist and work to put in place the necessary means of assistance to help the worker complete his or her assigned tasks.

Identification of available return to work options (same, modified or alternate work). Keeping in mind that an employee may be able to return to work in a limited capacity, we make it our job to ensure that there is clarification about how much the employee is able to contribute. In some instances, employees able to perform the same functions previous to their illness or injury. And in others, they require modified assignments or different tasks altogether.

Development, implementation and monitoring of graduated return to work plan. It’s always important to measure one’s ability to be productive on the job when he or she returns to it. A lot goes into one’s rehabilitation before he or she returns to work, but we remain mindful that the rehabilitation process continues once a person is back on the job. Is he or she easing back into a routine easily? Or is additional assistance required to make for an easier transition?

At Independence Incorporated, we are committed to the process of ensuring that employees are ready to be back at work as fully capable, productive members of their staffs. One way that we accomplish this is by ensuring that there is open communication between family physicians, treatment providers, employees and their employers. For more information about our “Return To Work Program”, please feel free to call us at 204-478-6644.