Getting injured on the job can be a life-changing event. Whether it’s a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or another debilitating event that results in loss of function, injured workers need rehabilitation to get back to work.
At Northwest Return To Work (NWRTW) our therapists and support staff understand the direct and indirect costs associated with lost time and unsettled claims for both the injured worker and the insurer.
We take our roles seriously and consider it a privilege to serve our clients during what can be a vulnerable time. We focus on the remediation of impairments and limitations and help patients increase strength and flexibility to minimize impairments. The goal is to maximize the injured workers’ ability to do what they want and need to do while increasing day-to-day function and independence.
Losing the ability to work as you used to is a profoundly disruptive life event that may lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Most individuals derive a sense of satisfaction and self-esteem from being able to work, and when working is not possible people may not be able to see themselves as competent. Therefore, one of the key benefits of rehabilitation is not just medical recovery but a restored sense of social and psychological well-being.
The client may not be able to perform all the tasks he or she was previously responsible for at work or may need to regain the ability over time in a structured environment. Our goal is to not only help them get back to work, but to help them participate fully in all the activities of life so they can feel happy, confident, and fulfilled—despite any limitations from their injury.
Components of Rehabilitation
Function Capacity Evaluation (FCE)
An FCE helps with the planning for a rehabilitation program and provides evidence for worker’s compensation settlements and disability status. For an FCE, occupational therapists evaluate the patient’s ability to participate in a job role. At NWRTW the FCE is conducted by well-trained and certified clinicians dedicated to this type of assessment. These evaluations are designed to accommodate each individual situation, without rigidity or restriction.
Work Conditioning is a structured therapy program that focuses on improving a worker’s strength, endurance, and body mechanics. The goal is to assist a worker in returning to his or her job with minimal functional restrictions. It is a conditioning program geared toward helping workers regain strength, mobility, endurance, power, and other aspects of functionality. Each activity is based on specific return-to-work goals and helps patients regain their physical capabilities and functional ability, and in turn, the confidence to return to work.
- Work Conditioning might be the right program for you if:
- You have returned to work after an injury but have difficulty tolerating the specific demands of your job.
- You have made steady progress in therapy but would benefit from a review to ensure a safe return.
- You have multiple levels of injuries and would benefit from a cohesive team approach to address physical and vocational difficulties.
Work hardening is very similar to work conditioning, but it’s a more intensive, highly structured program that requires a multidisciplinary team. Our work hardening program is centered around work simulations, and our custom-designed job simulation facility is one of the best in Washington state. It allows for the realistic, graded performance of job-specific tasks that allow our clients to practice more difficult job skills as their physical capacities improve.
Whether helping a roofer with a fear of heights re-acclimate to work on a ladder or helping a plumber with a wrist injury prepare to run pipes in a wall, we are equipped to provide the stimulation they need.
Work Hardening might be the right program for you if:
- You are making steady progress in therapy but are not able to meet the physical demands of your job.
- You are making progress in therapy but need exercises and activities that closely simulate your real job duties.
- You are progressing in therapy but are unsure if it is safe to return to work.
Transitional Return to Work
Instead of simply returning to full work responsibilities immediately, clients should have the time and space to heal gradually. With this approach, they can build their confidence and envision themselves as part of the working world as they increase their responsibilities and make incremental progress. Allowing them to return to some degree of self-sufficiency after a severe medical condition. There may be additional rehabilitation needed to help cope with ongoing pain management or brain injury functionality. At NWRTW we address all these areas of rehabilitation.
Northwest Return to Work is a unique facility that offers a wide range of treatments specifically for injured workers. Providing outstanding care for all work injuries, simple or complex.
We work collaboratively with Washington State Labor and Industries and other insurers to help you navigate your injury, with the goal of getting you Back-to-Work.
We’ll help you every step of the way by working with you and your employer, claims manager, medical providers, and other professionals involved in your claim.
CONTACT US for more information.