My Employer Doesn't Have Light Duty

21 February 2013 / How To, Uncategorized / Comments Off on My Employer Doesn't Have Light Duty

“My employer doesn't have light duty. You need to take me off work.”

In this situation I first inform the patient that the determination for available of modified work is not mine, but the employer’s.

I am happy to add on the return to work note that “If no light duty is available please send the worker home”.

This usually settles the situation, and clarifies for both the patient and the supervisor that the decision to cease working is now removed from the clinic, but rather based on modified work availability.

Writing return to work instructions may be challenging, but need not be confrontational, or prevent the worker from remaining at work.

Make every effort to define common goals with the patient, employer and yourself. Reinforce the critical need for the employer and employee to make every effort to remain at work, as it will impact their ability to recover and remain with gainful employment.

Take a careful look at your clinic’s return to work instructions, and make every effort to use time weighted descriptions whenever possible. Make sure all providers in the clinic are using the same return to work policy so there is no inconsistency in the product and expectations of the patients and clients.

Using these techniques, you will find writing return to work prescriptions less intimidating and more satisfying for your practice of occupational medicine.

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