In 2016, Injury Treatment assisted over 2650 clients return to suitable employment. Each and every RTW outcome is celebrated by our consulting team, and is the reason we come to work each day. Sometimes we have the privilege to work with someone for whom our services absolutely change their life for the better.
Our QLD team recently had this opportunity with Mr M. Mr M was a Labourer at a Fruit Farm when he sustained a significant crush injury in 1994, leading to amputation of his right leg below the knee.
Over the following years, Mr M had multiple surgeries and attempted to return to manual employment, but was never able to sustain the roles due to increased pain and fatigue.
Mr M was referred to Injury Treatment in December 2015 for a Functional and Vocational Assessment, to determine his objective functional capacity and to identify suitable employment options. Mr M lives in a regional area, and travelled to Injury Treatment’s office in Toowoomba for the assessments. Following completion of the assessments, a medical case conference with Mr M’s NTD was conducted, with capacity for full-time employment in a sedentary role confirmed and the identified vocational options of Spare Parts Interpreter, Teacher’s Aide and Disability Employment Consultant approved.
Injury Treatment completed Jobseeking Education, and Mr M developed confidence in all areas of Jobseeking including cover letters, interview skills and approaching employers for work. He commenced 1:1 Job Search Assistance, and Injury Treatment commenced looking for a suitable Work Trial to gain recent skills and experience. Mr M’s regional location presented an extra challenge to the Employment Consultant in sourcing the Work Trial, but she was determined and unwilling to give up. After a false start in late February, a work trial was confirmed in April for Mr M as a Teacher’s Aide working with Indigenous children at the local State School. Mr M commenced the Work Trial in early May 2016.
Mr M missed his first day of the work trial, initially advising Injury Treatment this was due to family problems, but then later admitting it was due to nerves. Injury Treatment’s Senior Rehabilitation Consultant spent time with Mr M providing strategies to manage these nerves and normalising his feelings, highlighting that we all experience nerves when starting a new job, and particularly when moving into a new area of employment. Knowing he had Injury Treatment’s support, he contacted the employer, and commenced the work trial on the following day.
Two weeks into Mr M’s 6 week work trial he increased to fulltime hours, however reported experiencing fatigue due to the increased activity. A structured functional exercise program was recommended and implemented by Injury Treatment’s Physiotherapist to assist Mr M in managing his fatigue and maintaining his hours at the work trial. This included the development of a home exercise program with weekly contact over 4 weeks to increase Mr M’s functional tolerances and endurance, allowing him to feel more confident in engaging in physical activity while at work and managing his energy levels outside of work.
Mr M’s work trial was extended to 8 weeks, at the school’s request, and Mr M was offered permanent employment from 18 July 2016. He remains employed as a Teacher’s Aide with the School and has finally found sustainable employment, over 20 years post injury.
Injury Treatment’s interventions have absolutely increased Mr M’s quality of life and community engagement, and we look forward to helping more clients just like Mr M.