Medical Case Management Services are most often provided in the context of job development & placement, as Fitzpatrick Rehab's rehabilitation specialists are most often vocationally focused. Meetings with physicians and treatment teams the usual focus is on functional capacity, suitability of employment options, accommodation, ergonomics and exploring creative RTW options, leading to a safe return to work.
Discussion of ongoing pain and its relationship to increased physical activity / work activity is often discussed with physicians / treatment providers, as vocational options are considered and return to work nears. Employees / injured workers may have had a long course of medical treatment with physical therapy. These individuals have experienced being a patient, being told and prescribed what physical activity is allowed and recommended. Moving forward, becoming responsible or more self-sufficient in order to re-engage in work activity may at times be overwhelming. Accompanying the employee / injured by in a meeting with their treatment provider will often shed light, clarity, building confidence, put matters to rest, reduce anxiety in the implementation of the next step forward in returning to gainful employment.
At times functional capacity evaluations may be arranged in order to clarify safe return to work parameters and to reduce fear and / or concerns the employee / injured worker may have as the return to work nears. Such clarity may improve interviewing skills, when interacting with new employers.
Telephonic Case Management Services, TCM, may be provided on an as needed basis, especially when time and distances may be significant. Telephonic Case Management may also be utilized, when cases transition from a vocational focus back to medical treatment, which occurs in some cases. Maintaining a relationship and continuing the vocational discussions utilizing the telephone and Internet may keep relevant return to work dynamics in play.
Lists of Jobs may be sent via the e-mail and mail without actually meeting with the employee / injured worker. The rehabilitation specialist will be able to discuss these current vocational options utilizing the telephone and e-mail. Continue to work on vocational direction and specific real-time vocational options may make the difference in moving from medical treatment to the world of work and gainful employment.
Texting may also be utilized for quick effective and low-cost communication. Utilizing Skype Video Calls is also an option to be considered, when combined with the Fitzpatrick Rehab Computer Loan Program, where indicated.
Fitzpatrick Rehab’s Computer Loan Program has successfully loaned computers to employees / injured parties, who may lack computer skills and need to gain valuable experience, utilizing computers for their eventual return to gainful employment in (if needed) lighter duty work activity. Additionally, having a notebook computer allows the injured worker to go to free WiFi sites to conduct a web-based job search and also to communicate via e-mail. As a first step in an ongoing job search, online applications are a usual first step with more traditional follow-up with telephone, mail and face-to-face employer contact, if possible. The job search is increasing accomplished in a computer-based virtual manner. The provision of a supported loaned computer results in the employee / injured worker having opportunity to learn a new skill sets and apply this skill to their job search, creating a forward momentum, thereby overcoming the inertia found in extended medical treatment and being a patient.
Fitzpatrick Rehab's Computer Loan Program is offered to employees / injured workers at no cost to the implementation of rehabilitation services. The computer loan program usually loans a Dell Latitude notebook, wireless mouse and messenger style computer bag.
Vocational Assessments and Determination of Employability may be accomplished with a face-to-face meeting(s) to review education, work experience, residual functional capacity (objective findings & subjective complaints) and employment options found within the employee's / injured worker’s local community. Face-to-face meeting(s), telephone & e-mail contact combined with the rehabilitation specialist’s years of labor market experience, results in the assessment / determination of potential vocational direction and specific vocational options. Current labor market research will lend to clarification of potential employability, placeability, if a job search were undertaken and / or vocational rehabilitation services offered, accepted and implemented.
Fitzpatrick Rehab has the capability to videotape employment options for presentation to a treating physician, physical therapist for clarification of work activities, facilitating a release to return to work and / or archiving for an employer’s future use. The digital video is reviewed and edited for simplicity and clarity.
Such video(s) may be presented on CDs, DVDs or Flash Drives.
Fitzpatrick Rehab provides Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Services are customized to the particular requirements and demands of the case in question. In each instance the rehabilitation specialist takes into account the specific details pertaining to the employee / injured party, nature of the rehabilitation assignment and proceeds with discussion with the involved parties and referral specifics.
Generally speaking, services usually involve an initial evaluation, resume development, creation of a cover letter(s), canvassing the local labor market and implementing a job search. As the job search unfolds, follow-up with specific employers and/or employer meetings are usual. Modification of the resume and cover letters is often accomplished to target specific employment options. Discussions with the returning employee may include interviewing skills, a development of talking points, and becoming comfortable and adept at addressing questions that may pertain to a gap in employment as well as functional limitations. At times the rehabilitation specialist may accompany the employee during the job search providing support, direction and encouragement. Such coaching and rehearsing may make the difference in securing gainful employment. The first impression with a new employer or their decision maker is critical.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services may entail simply providing job leads to a ready and able individual for a simple and direct return to work. Conversely, vocational rehabilitation services may be more complex and include retraining on-the-job and / or may also include an educational component. The rehabilitation specialists at Fitzpatrick Rehab contact employers to discuss their hiring needs as part of job development and job placement services. During these interactions with local employers, the rehabilitation specialist discusses the worker functions, trait, skills abilities and employer expectations. It is usual to offer on-the-job training (OJT) funding, as part of these job development discussions with local employers.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services may also involve meeting with the treating physician / treatment team to clarify functional capacity, discuss accommodation or job modification and at times clarify the implication of having ongoing pain. During increased physical activity as in a work hardening phase, the returning employee may experience increased pain and discomfort. Ongoing and increased pain is a potentially troubling and fearful experience for an employee, who is returning to work. Addressing such an issue early on in the rehabilitation process is a prudent and effective step.
At times more limited assignments have been received or requested which may involve only sending lists of job leads to the employee / injured worker rather than actually meeting with the employee. At times these lists of jobs may only be sent to the plaintiff lawyer, if that is requested.
Effective and timely communication with the involved parties is central to a successful implementation of a rehabilitation plan.
OASYS for Windows - TSA
Fitzpatrick Rehab utilizes OASYS for Windows. This software is constantly updated and current. OASYS has since 1983 assisted rehabilitation specialist in transferable skills analysis, career path development and job placement support. OASYS matches the employee’s / job seeker’s skills and abilities to occupational requirements. This software addresses the employee’s / job seeker’s employability, occupational outlook, with current employment and projections of job matches, including wage and salary data.
O*NET, the Occupational Information Network
The O*Net also utilized when reviewing or clarifying employability and occupational outlook. "The O*NET, the Occupational Information Network, is a comprehensive database of worker attributes and job characteristics. As the replacement for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), O*NET will be the nation's primary source of occupational information.” “By viewing the employee’s prior occupation(s) on the O*NET website, transferable skills may be generally reviewed and aid in identification of potential occupations that would be within the employee’s vocational training and experience." www.online.onetcenter.org
CareerScope - Aptitude/Interest Assessment
CareerScope is a computer-based self-administered assessment of interests and aptitudes for various occupations, which takes approximately 1 hour to administer. This assessment immediately generates a printed report for review upon completion. Review of the results often facilitates a discussion of employment options, employability and occupational outlook. Career recommendations are reviewed that align with the participant’s interests and aptitudes. CareerScope assessment is easy to complete administer and score completing in 60 minutes or less.
Career Assessment Inventory, CAI – The Vocational Version
Career Assessment Inventory is a paper-and-pencil interest inventory for individuals who plan to enter careers immediately after high school are to attend community college or trade school. In eighth grade reading level with a minimum age of 15 years is needed. Completion takes 35 to 40 minutes and an interpretive report is provided.
Career Decision-Making, CDM -R
Career Decision-Making is a paper-and-pencil self-scored assessment that help individuals and career planners identify vocational interests, values, and abilities matching these dimensions to career options. Identified career clusters and results facilitate discussion of interests and employment opportunities. Junior high and high school students, individuals entering the job market and others considering alternative employment may benefit from completing this assessment. An minimum age of 12 with a 4th or 6th grade reading level is required. Completion time is 20 to 40 minutes. An interpretive folder is provided.
Labor Market Surveys - Research are completed and customized based on the nature of the referral and the LMS Report’s intended application and/or use. Labor Market Surveys - Research may be utilized for determining employment options and availability in Workers' Compensation, Longshore Cases, Bodily Injury Cases (AL/GL), Social Security and Divorce.
Job Analysis may be completed in order to be shared with the treating physician / treatment team to clarify the proposed job placements physical demands and suitability for a return to work. The job analysis may be complex, exhaustive or focused on a specific aspect of the job in question, such as the amount of standing or walking. Repetitive motions are often an area that may require clarification and approval from a treatment team member.
Clarification of physical demands in some cases is necessary. If there are questions or concerns about the exact physical requirements posed by the work activity and /or relative safety to avoid re-injury with a return to work proposal, then a job analysis may be indicated. The returning worker may feel more confident in their ability to successfully perform the work activities, as a result. Having treating physician or physical therapist agree that the work activity in question appears safe and a return to work should be attempted, may make the difference and lead to a successful RTW.
Job analysis may be completed on a variety of paper formats to be e-mailed and videotaping is also an option to be considered, when indicated.