Supporting your patient’s recovery and return to work
Returning to work after an injury can often be a daunting prospect for patients, especially if the injury occurred at work.
There are often many physical and psychological factors to negotiate, including physical injuries, complex relationships with employers, social circumstances, and their own fears and uncertainties.
So when should return to work happen? The answer is really ‘as soon as possible’, taking into account whether there is safe and suitable work available. However, this doesn’t mean the patient needs to be 100% recovered, as work is actually an important component of their therapy!
Being without work, whatever the cause, increases our risks of psychological, physical and social problems. Many patients don’t realise that the longer they are off work, the more problems accumulate, and the more difficult it is to finally get back to work.
This is where GPs play a key role in supporting their patient through their recovery and return to work. Listening, observing, questioning, encouraging and providing feedback is all part of a GP’s job to debunk myths, help their patient see the benefits of work and allay their patient’s fears.
GPs also determine what kind of work their patient can actually do, so the employer can find work that will fit with what the GP says is possible.
Given the complexity of dealing with return to work patients, ReturnToWorkSA and GPEx have developed a free online course for busy GPs who want to learn practical and caring ways of supporting, coaching and counselling their patients through their recovery and return to work.
In ReturnToWorkGP, you will build your confidence in effective coaching and counselling, recognise and address barriers to recovery, understand the ReturnToWork Scheme, and learn about the support services available.
The valuable skills and knowledge you will learn in this course will enable you to help your patient successfully transition back to work sooner and achieve their best health outcomes.
So what are you waiting for?