This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Employment After Burn Injury. Sabina Brych, BS, Rehabilitation Counselor, discusses What Patients Can Do As They Return to Work.


There are some very very simple things that uh, we can do and recommend that will help the patient kind of survive the first couple weeks on the job after going back to work. Um, we almost never release a patient to go back to work on Monday. We would recommend to go back to on Wednesday. Then you have a couple, two or three days of work. You’ll be exhausted, but you have a weekend to recover and then you start your week.

We recommend a gradual return to work, it will be… four hours a day for the first week, six hours a day for the second week, and eight hours by the third week. We would recommend to the patient to really stick with the plan. So they can actually really prove it to the employer that they are capable of doing the job, and that they are, uh, improving from day to day and week to week.

When you go back to work, take a couple extra t-shirts with you, especially for patients that had a burns on their back or torso, or in the axala(?) area. We will ask them to bring a couple extra t-shirts, so if you sweat a lot at work, you can change that, bring a little towel, um, for patients that have burns to their hands, we would advise them to get thin cotton gloves, so the uh, working glove will be touching and rubbing on the other glove, then, not on their skin. So just a really simple, uh, simple recommendations that can make the process a little bit easier. And we also tell patients to do expect some increase in symptoms. You gonna be exhausted, you may hurt a little bit more, but this will go away, and it will get better with time.

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