In the unfortunate event that an accident occurred at work and you become injured, it can often be a stressful time in your life. Not only have you sustained an injury, but it can often raise many questions such as how long will I be off work? How am I going to pay bills? Will this injury affect my normal routine? How am I going to get better? Who is going to help me get better?
The last two questions how am I going to get better and who is going to help me are the two questions health professionals most often come across. Recently, I had the opportunity to shadow a general practitioner (GP) for an afternoon. In that time, I was able to sit in on several initial assessments for workplace injuries. These two questions come up without fail throughout the assessments, with most workers unsure of the system and who can provide them with the help to get better. The answer to these two questions varies from case to case however the process to get to those answers follows the same process.
The answers are largely based on how the injured worker presents in the initial assessment. The treating GP will carry out their testing based on the information given by the worker on the incident. They will then determine if there are any other investigations needed or what treatment options are appropriate at the time to get the best possible outcome for you and your condition. When determining who will be suited to help you get better, the GP will work through the Workcover clinical framework and determine who will provide you with the most effective treatment, address any biopsychosocial factors (if any are present), empower you to manage your injury, implement goals that optimise function and participation in your return to work plan and base treatment on evidence-based research. Often the GP will refer you to an allied health professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) to assist you in your recovery.
Once a referral has been made by the GP and has the appropriate allied health professionals involved, they will also follow the Workcover clinical framework to assist in achieving the best possible outcome for you and your injury. When treated by an AEP they will assess you and take baseline measures related to your role and assist the GP in determining your capacity for work. A comprehensive treatment plan with effective management strategies is then put in place to help you get back to work. These measures are also reviewed and re-assessed over the course of the treatment to determine the effectiveness of the treatment and that it is relevant to improving your condition. Regular reviews also give you as the worker regular feedback on your progress recovery and your independence. This feedback often empowers you as the injured worker to begin managing the condition and implement the management strategies given to you by your health provider.
Ultimately having the right health team on board, they will do their best to assist you in improving your condition, doing what they can in their scope of practice to help get better.
If you have any questions on how an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help you improve your workplace injury and get you back to work contact us at email@example.com.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)
Clinical Framework. (2016, January 28). Retrieved July 7, 2019, from https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/health-providers/clinical-framework/