Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Work Reintegration

Work reintegration programs address the physical, psychosocial and cultural needs of the individual to achieve independent functioning in a vocation and a full return to work. Programs are highly structured, goal oriented and individualized to transition workers through the recovery process from acute care to back to work.

A workplace visit is usually organized and will involve the therapist, employer and the injured worker. An on-site job analysis identifies the essential job tasks and helps create a graded return to work program. A gradual return to work is best, as fatigue is often a problem. A return to work program usually includes job coaching, instruction, and education in safe work practices to prevent further injury. Any physical or cognitive difficulties are also taken into account when planning the return to work. The therapist will review the program regularly to increase the hours at work and upgrade the person’s duties as appropriate.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recommends that occupational therapists take the following steps during a work reintegration program:

  • Evaluate a person while on the job to determine his or her ability to complete job tasks.
  • Recommend modifications to job tasks that the worker can complete safely.
  • Identify a worker's meaningful job tasks.
  • Implement and supervise a company's return-to-work program to ensure a safe, productive, and functional work environment.
  • Monitor a worker's progress regularly and reassess to determine when work tasks can be upgraded to full duty.