Returning To Work After An Injury: 5 Things To Consider

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By Jacob Maslow

Injuries are a constant threat, no matter the precautions you take. It’s natural to dread them; after all, they can cause severe issues and get in the way of your daily life, up to and including forcing you to take indefinite breaks from work in a worst-case scenario.

What’s also natural is to be expected to return to work after treatment and recovery.

Unfortunately, returning to work after an accident is more challenging than many think. You might need to change your previous position at work to accommodate your injuries. Worse, you may lose your job due to your inability to perform the duties you once had before the accident.

That, in turn, leads to a cascade of problems that can leave anyone worse for wear.

Knowing this, it’s only wise to work on returning to work seamlessly. Here’s a list of practical things you should do when it happens to you.

1. Disclose Your Injuries To Your Employer

Notifying your employer about your condition is a common-sense step. But do they know the extent of the damage or how much they may limit your ability to work?

If they do, well and good. But if they don’t, you must provide them with details on your current state and how it may affect your employment moving forward.

2. Talk To Your Employer

Once you’re ready to resume work after an injury, contact your employer immediately. Avoid waiting until the last minute to do this. They, too, require planning for your return, often involving ironing out some measures they took to address the backlog you left behind (for example, relieving the person who assumed your position temporarily).

In cases of debilitating injury or minor disability, some adjustments may have to be made in your workstation to maintain your safety and convenience. That also takes time to do. Therefore, you must allow the employer to make the necessary changes before you return.

You must get a go-signal from a doctor to confirm your readiness for work.

3. Consider Your Current State And Your Doctor’s Advice

In line with the above, listen to your doctor’s recommendations before and after returning to work. Though bills could encourage you to return to work early, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Your doctor may do a checkup to determine whether or not you can resume your duties.

It’s wise not to return to work once you ‘feel better.’ You run the risk of reopening wounds and worsening injuries. That’s another reason why getting checked first is vital.

If you plan on getting compensation, you must know that unscrupulous employers will use the fact you returned sooner than expected to challenge your claim.

4. Consider Following Up With The Doctor’s Appointment

Keeping up follow-up appointments is essential even when you’re returning to work. These let you know whether you’re progressing in your recovery or treatment and whether additional rest is necessary.

5. Know What To Do If Problems Persist

Be open to experiencing limitations in how you perform your regular duties. At the same time, work with your healthcare provider in creating strategies to deal with them.

For example, it’s common to experience a modicum of chronic pain even after you’ve recovered from major injuries. In this case, you must talk to your doctor about the ideal adjustments to continue working with ease. Then, inform your employer about them.

If your employer is considerate, they may agree to shift your position or some of your responsibilities, depending on your persisting problems. For more severe cases, additional leave may be provided.

What Are The Benefits Of Returning To Work As Soon As Possible?

Returning to work may be a good idea for many reasons. The most obvious one is to try and keep your bills at a minimum. You risk incurring lots of debt unless you have ample insurance coverage or money to shell out. That could harm you in more ways than one.

But does that mean you should risk it? There are times when cutting your recovery plan may actually backfire on you. Many people who struggle after an accident face worse predicaments because they choose to return to work too soon for various reasons, including the one above.

You must know your options. Talk to your healthcare provider and review your insurance policy to see how much leeway you have in dealing with your post-accident needs. Be transparent in communicating all of this with your employer, as well. That will make them more willing to make concessions for you.

Know What To Do

Easing back to work after getting injured is tricky. Your body may show signs that you can take up your duties again, only for your problems to worsen after returning. Working closely with your doctor and employer before and after returning to work is vital to make your return to employment successful. Always know your options and follow experts’ advice.

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