Gladstone Hands On Physiotherapy

Occupational Rehabilitation

Occupational rehabilitation is the practice of returning injured workers to a level of daily work activities that is appropriate to their demonstrated functional and cognitive capacity relating to their job position and the worker’s severity of injuries.

Occupational Rehabilitation Gladstone Hands On Physiotherapy

At Gladstone Hands On Physiotherapy, a rehabilitation consultant can work with you throughout your recovery.  The rehabilitation consultant will:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of your current situation;
  • Assist the worker, insurer and employer understand the injury and how best to manage the conditions;
  • Review workplaces and workstations and provide recommendations/strategies to assist with injury prevention and management.

What do you need to know about occupational rehabilitation?

Occupational rehabilitation is the practice of returning injured workers to a level of daily work activities that is appropriate to their demonstrated functional and cognitive capacity relating to their job position and the worker’s severity of injuries. 

Occupational rehabilitation services can aid in acquiring a greater understanding of an injured workers’ condition and how it can be managed utilising a biopsychosocial approach. 

What is the integrative approach to occupational rehabilitation?

The integrative approach applies to the rehabilitation consultant using a graded environment, intentionally eliminating barriers to increase individuals’ performance and self-esteem. 

What assessments and reports are used in occupational rehabilitation:

  • Workplace assessments;
  • Development of return-to-work plans;
  • Ergonomic reviews;
  • Functional capacity evaluations;
  • Activities of daily living review with recommendations of home modifications;
  • Pre-employment assessments.

What is a workplace assessment?

A workplace assessment, is a specialised service aimed at observing, evaluating and reporting on the physical, environmental and ergonomic requirement of an individual’s duties.  During the assessment, recommendations are provided to the individual and their employer for a safe and efficient ways to complete tasks independently and without injury aggravation.

What is a return-to-work plan?

A return-to-work plan is a structured plan that is developed with the injured worker and employer that outlines personalised steps / recommendations to successfully return the worker back to work.

What is an ergonomic review?

An ergonomic review is an assessment of an individual at their workstation to ensure correct working postures and workstation set-up is ascertained to assist with acquiring appropriate body mechanics.  An effective ergonomic assessment will reduce a workers’ exposure to physical hazards including overuse injuries.

What is an activities of daily living review?

An activities of daily living review is the review of fundamental skills which are typically needed to managed basic physical needs which comprise of the following areas:

  • Grooming / personal hygiene;
  • Dressing;
  • Toileting /continence;
  • Showering;
  • Transferring / ambulating;
  • Driving;
  • Shopping;
  • Meal Preparation;
  • Eating;
  • Cleaning (including, vacuuming, mopping and sweeping). 

At the completion of the assessment, equipment recommendations can be recommended for hire and/or purchase dependent on the individuals’ needs and anticipated recovery timeframes. 

What is a Pre-Employment?

Pre-employment medical assessments are a workforce risk management tool used to screen individuals for risk factors that may limit their ability to perform a job role safely and effectively. During a pre-employment, a set of standardised physical assessments are used to meet site requirements which can vary depending on your industry requirements.    

What is the difference between a pre-employment and a functional capacity evaluation/assessment?

A pre-employment is a set of standardised tests that are completed to meet site standards for specific job roles. Whereas, a functional capacity evaluation/assessment is a series of standardised tests used to assess a person’s functional capacity for work tasks and/or activities of daily living tasks.  The aim of this assessment is to determine a person’s abilities over a range of physical demands in order to facilitate his or her functional recovery.

Functional Capacity Evaluation/Assessment

Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE)/Assessment (FCA) is an assessment tool used by trained Allied Health Professionals to assess a person’s abilities and limitations while also assessing behavioural obstacles that may be interfering with a return to normal activity.

What is the purpose of a Functional Capacity Evaluation/Assessment?

A FCE or FCA comprises of a series of standardised tests used to assess a person’s functional capacity for work tasks and/or activities of daily living tasks.  The aim of this assessment is to determine a person’s abilities over a range of physical demands in order to facilitate his or her functional recovery.

Who would benefit from a Functional Capacity Evaluation/Assessment?

An FCE/FCA can be applied to many individuals, who are requiring an understanding of their current functional capacity.  Those who most commonly are engaged in this assessment are injured workers and individuals with a permanent disability requiring assistance to get funding (i.e., disability pension, NDIS, etc.). 

How does a Functional Capacity Evaluation / Assessment help injured workers?

By conducting a functional capacity evaluation/assessment on an injured worker, various parties (worker, employer and insurer) will be provided with a clear understanding of the injured workers’ function at the time of the assessment. This understanding allows for defined strategies to be developed when re-integrating the injured worker back into the workforce.

What is included in the assessment?

Depending on whether the assessment is completed in a clinic or workplace setting, the assessment includes:

  • Injury and treatment history;
  • Current medical concerns;
  • Outline of work demands (review of job demands if available);
  • Objective functional testing including:
    • Lifting and carrying assessment;
    • Sustained postures capacity (i.e., squatting, kneeling, reaching, bending, sitting, walking and standing);
    • Grip strength;
    • Balance.
  • Job specific task simulations;
  • Outline of current function as demonstrated during the assessment completed;
  • Opinions and recommendations of the individual’s abilities to perform tasks which can relate to their job role and/or activities of daily living.

Will a report be completed?

Following the completion of the assessment, a comprehensive report summarising the findings of the functional capacity assessment and the recommendations. In this report you can expect to receive detailed information on:

  • Individuals’ injury;
  • Individuals’ current symptoms, aggravating factors and relieving factors;
  • Individuals’ current treatment;
  • Summary of medical information previously provided;
  • Individuals’ willingness to return to work and/or activities of daily living;
  • Individuals’ current physical capacity;
  • Individuals’ ability to perform the inherent requirements of their job role and activities of daily living;
  • Recommendations for progression and further treatment/management in order to achieve a sustainable return to work and activities of daily living;
  • Summary of recommendations for suitable duties and hours.

How long will the assessment take?

The assessment itself can take anywhere between two and three hours

What do I wear to the assessment?

It is best to wear comfortable clothing and closed in shoes, as you will be required to perform physical tasks.

What is the difference between a pre-employment and a functional capacity evaluation/assessment?

A pre-employment is a set of standardised tests that are completed to meet site standards for specific job roles. Whereas, a functional capacity evaluation/assessment is a series of standardised tests used to assess a person’s functional capacity for work tasks and/or activities of daily living tasks.  The aim of this assessment is to determine a person’s abilities over a range of physical demands in order to facilitate his or her functional recovery.

Who Can Help

Friendly Staff Who Can Help

Accredited Exercise Physiologist/Occupational Rehabilitation Consultant

Brooke Dines

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At Gladstone Hands On Physiotherapy, care always begins with a full assessment of the patient’s existing conditions, tolerance to activity, and goals in order to develop a truly individualised treatment plan. Contact us to learn more about Occupational Rehabilitation or schedule an appointment.
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