A Successful Return to Work

A number of factors impact on a successful return to work, including:

– The nature and severity of residual difficulties, particularly the degree of self-awareness and how well the person has adjusted to their disability.
– The nature of the pre-injury occupation.
– The timing and management of the return to work.
– The employer and co-worker support.

Success in obtaining or sustaining employment depends on the person being able to do the job – they must have the cognitive and social skills that the job demands. When considering a return to work, it is very important to be realistic about this and to take advice from the rehabilitation team. Unrealistic expectations due to reduced insight can present a formidable barrier to a successful return to work.

There is no doubt that the degree of self-awareness and adjustment to difficulties is a critical factor in recovery.

People who have accepted their difficulties practise strategies to compensate and adapt. They open their minds to alternative suggestions for employment if a return to their pre-injury occupation is not feasible. In short, a person must accept their new circumstances before they can learn to use alternative strategies and realise “success” again.