Family Information on Work Recovery Program

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1 Family Information on Work Recovery Program Introduction Your family member has been admitted to the Work Recovery Program at the Workers' Rehabilitation Centre. In this pamphlet, your family member will be called the client. The client has requested or agreed that we provide you with this pamphlet. It contains the following: Information about the program's accreditation, teams and treatment. A place to write your questions for us to answer. Accreditation The Workers Rehabilitation Centre in Saint John is a specialized facility where workers are helped to overcome the effects of job-related injuries, so they can return safely to work and get on with their lives. It s the only rehabilitation centre east of Ontario that specializes in providing treatment to injured workers. This facility is available to give our clients specialized treatment without delay.

2 The Work Recovery Program provides multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment to injured workers. The goal is to prepare the injured worker for return to work. The program has obtained the highest level of accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International). CARF-accredited programs and services have demonstrated that they substantially meet internationally recognized standards. Team Member Roles: Clients are assigned to a treatment team, made up of professional staff and the client. The professional staff have obtained their education and training from accredited universities. To remain up-to-date on best practice, the staff attend continuing education courses. The following health professionals are on the team: Team Co-ordinator / Team Manager - introduces the client to the Centre and its staff, co-ordinates the treatment program, and maintains contact with the case manager. Physician - performs a complete medical checkup, makes the team aware of any problems, and maintains contact with the family physician. Physiotherapist (PT) - performs an assessment and then uses a variety of treatment techniques and exercises to help control pain, regain mobility, strength and general fitness, and prevent re-injury. Occupational Therapist (OT) - assesses skills in job-related activities and provides work-related activities to build strength and endurance to perform the job and teaches coping strategies to control the pain. Psychologist or Social Worker - offers support to injured workers through individual counselling or group sessions. Issues addressed include client concerns, stress management, coping with pain, effective communication and issues related to getting ready to return to work. Others - The services of a nurse, dietitian, and prosthetist/orthotist are also available, if required.

3 Treatment Program: The typical day involves a variety of treatment activities to best meet the injured worker s needs. Treatment begins at 8:40 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m., except on Friday when treatment ends at 12 p.m. There are two 15-minute breaks (morning and afternoon) and a one-hour lunch break. This schedule is similar to a daily work schedule and is used to help the client get ready to return to work. The treatment activities involve a warm-up in the morning to stretch the muscles, followed by physiotherapy or occupational therapy. Physiotherapy involves exercises in the gym, symptom management strategies like stretches, ice or heat, and may involve hands-on treatment.

4 Occupational therapy provides activities based on the demands of the job. They usually include tasks that will build the client s ability to sit, stand, lift, carry, push and pull. This part of the program takes most of the treatment time in the weeks before discharge, as clients are getting ready to return to work. Education on a number of topics is provided throughout the program. Copies of handouts are available. Simply let your family member know so that they can ask for an extra handout at the time of the education session.

5 Some of the education sessions include: Understanding Pain Understanding Safe Work Practices Benefits of Exercise Nutrition Since Your Injury Restful Sleep Stress Management and Relaxation Training Group treatment with the social worker or psychologist focuses on coping strategies to deal with the effects of the injury. Some clients will also receive individual counselling. Symptom management is a big focus and various activities are in place to support the use of strategies to better control symptoms. Examples of symptoms are pain, swelling, numbness, and pins and needles. Examples of strategies include: Relaxation, which is a good strategy for pain relief. We offer relaxation classes and tai chi to encourage use of relaxation. Heat and ice are good strategies for pain relief. In the treatment areas, there are small freezers to store ice packs and microwaves to warm up hot packs for the client to use. For pain management, the goal is finding strategies that clients can apply themselves and giving them the tools to do this.

6 Length of Treatment The Work Recovery Program is an average of six to seven weeks long. The exact length of time depends on how well the client progresses in treatment. The focus of the program will be based on what the case manager has requested and usually is to prepare the client for one of the following: Return to work, with no restrictions Return to work gradually, perhaps with some changes in the job. In this case, a WorkSafeNB occupational therapist will sit down with the client and employer to help plan those changes. Improve function to prepare for a return to work. Discharge Planning The client, team and case manager work together to set up a discharge plan. For clients who are ready to return to work, the case manager will make arrangements with the employer. Write your questions and comments here and return to us in one of the following ways: Send with your family member Fax to: Work Recovery Team Co-ordinator / Team Manager at Mail to:work Recovery Team Co-ordinator / Team Manager Work Recovery Program Workers Rehabilitation Centre P.O. Box 160, 1 Portland St. Saint John, NB E2L 3X9

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