Occupational rehabilitation

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Occupational rehabilitation is a managed process aimed at helping injured or ill workers return to suitable employment with the fullest physical, mental, social, vocational, and economic usefulness possible. Ideally, rehabilitation begins as soon as you're injured and continues until you can return to your normal duties or another job. Most injured workers are treated by a healthcare team that may includea doctor, nurse and physiotherapist (fizz-ee-oh-THAIR-uh-pihst). If your injury is more severe, the process may include physical, social, and vocational rehabilitation. The healthcare team will assess your injury and determine what you can and can't do. A rehabilitation program may require that you return to work for a limited number of hours per day, which can increase over a period of time. Also, rehabilitation may involve treatment, on-the-job training to acquire new job skills, or special assistance for severely injured workers. For workers, benefits of rehabilitation can include faster recovery and reduced suffering; minimal disruption to family, social and working life; improved physical condition, confidence and self-esteem regarding return to work and job; and financial security. In most instances, rehabilitation efforts are workplace-based because this provides the most realistic environment in which to assess work fitness. In addition, it helps the worker and employer to maintain appropriate contact throughout the rehabilitation process.

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