A Nurse Case Manager’s Experience
As a nurse case manager working in workers’ compensation, most of my patients think my questions and recommendations regarding a return to work are just about saving the company money. While there is a cost-savings with the claimant returning to work, there are also other benefits.
Every day I see depression related to a prolonged period away from work and the regular work routine. This is particularly a problem with men. Men tend to define themselves as “the worker,” the one providing for the family. There is a loss of identity when injured workers can no longer identify themselves by their job. Financially they suffer. Their regular routine is disturbed. Many fail to even dress for the day since they have no place to go. Throw in the pain of an injury and the frustration with the system and soon you see clinical depression.
5 Reasons to Return-to-Work Quickly
- Reduced recovery time. Working light duty or transitional duty helps the body to keep moving.
2. Reduced medical costs. RTW keeps depression at bay. It can also prevent costs associated with work hardening programs and the like.
3. Improved employer relations. If a worker is allowed to return they feel valued, while the alterative of sitting at home without contact from the employer can make them feel devalued.
4. Transition back into work. A return to work program allows for a transition to reacquaint the body with the essential job functions and minimizes reinjury.
5. Reduces potential for fraud and abuse-Prevents rewarding the worker financially without the benefit of work.
Author: Victoria Powell is the President of VP Medical Consulting, LLC located in Central Arkansas. VP Medical Consulting is a nurse consulting firm providing services to employers, insurance companies, attorneys and the general public. Services include case management, life care planning, legal nurse consulting, ergonomics and patient advocacy. Ms. Powell holds specialty certifications in a variety of nursing specialties. She can be reached at 501-778-3378 or through the web at http://www.vp-medical.com/
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