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, When to Go Back To Work.

SABINA BRYCH: Well, going back to work after burn injury is not always easy. The timing is important quite a few people need to be involve in helping the patient determine when is the right time. Involves the employer, to make sure that they have a job available, or if they have a transitional job, involves the physician, who can assess if the patient is ready to go back to work, from the medical standpoint. It takes a physical therapist or occupational therapist, to make sure that they have the physical strength, the grip, the pinch, uh, to go back to work. Sometimes it takes a psychologist to assess if they are really emotionally ready to sort of go back to, to their life that they had before the burn.

SHELLEY WIECHMAN: Often times, we suggest a patient return to work maybe sooner than they would anticipate. Because from our standpoint what we’ve seen by doing this for many years, and what our research shows, is the sooner a person can return to work, the better their quality of life. It’s one of the major major steps of getting their life back again, and returning to a sense of normalcy. And the sooner patients can return to work, the better they do in the long term. And that’s really uh, for a number of reasons. Um, returning to employment gives a sense of confidence and self-efficacy and it reminds them of their previous life, their normalcy. They’re contributing to the family again, they’re no longer a patient. So returning to work is a very important aspect of the recovery.

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