Returning to work after an injury is often challenging. Not only do you have to worry about how you are going to be able keep up with the demands, you also have to try to find out about changes that happened while you were gone.
If you know that you are going to be returning to work eventually after the injury, there are some points you should remember that can help you through the process. Most importantly, remember that you can start doing some of these before you ever return to work.
Get your doctor’s approval
You can’t return to work without having your doctor’s approval. Even if you are feeling better, there is a chance that your body isn’t ready to go back to your normal job duties. If your doctor decides that you need to get back to your usual job slowly, they will place restrictions on what you’re allowed to do. You may be anxious to get back at it full speed, but you may do more harm than good.
If your company has more than 15 employees, your employer is required to provide reasonable accommodations for when you come back. Bring in documentation from your doctor that outlines what types you might benefit from. While this isn’t always required by law, it can help you to make your case. Needing to take time off of work for medical appointments and therapy do qualify you for accommodations, so be sure to address these needs with your superior.
Take time to adjust
Don’t try to go too fast when you get back to work. Your body is going to let you know when you’re doing too much. Pay attention to how you feel so that you can discuss this with your employer. Don’t be afraid to ask to reduce your work hours or to have someone help you with some of the duties. Some employers might not be willing to adjust what you are allowed to do; however, others will understand that you might need to dial your duties down so you can get back to full speed without suffering a setback.
When returning to your former job position isn’t possible because of the injury, you might be able to utilize the vocational rehabilitation benefit of the workers’ compensation program. This enables you to get the training you need to start working a new job.