By Jim Landon, RN, and Mukesh Kumar Singh, CFE, LLM, MBA, BWC Compliance & Performance Management
In any workers’ compensation claim, motivation is always a key factor in not only the rehabilitation of the injured worker but for a successful return to work.
While this holds true in any industrial injury claim, it’s particularly true for catastrophic injuries that result in an amputation. When an injured worker suffers an amputation injury, not only are they faced with physical hurdles to overcome but also the challenge of regaining their self-esteem.
Obtainable goals, collaboration
Injured workers who suffer an amputation must learn to adapt both physically and mentally to return to a state of normalcy post-injury. Without motivation and obtainable goals, the injured worker will quite often ultimately fail. However, for an injured worker to be motivated it is crucial they have a strong support system. This system should consist of a positive collaboration between family members, the employer, providers, as well as BWC and the managed care organization (MCO) for ultimate success.
A key to this success is fitting the injured worker with the correct prosthesis as soon as he or she is medically stable to do so. The philosophy of this is well proven. There is only a limited window of opportunity in sustaining the motivation factor for the injured worker before frustration and poor self-esteem set in. If this does not occur, a successful return-to-work and the return to a normal life are unlikely.
The process of fitting the injured worker with the correct prosthesis follows a very simple logic. In choosing the proper device it need not be high tech or low tech, but the right tech. The choice should be fitting a device that provides optimal function and gives the injured worker the best chance of not only returning to gainful employment but to a pre-injury quality of life.
Support + motivation = success
We must remember that behind every claim number is a person that is more than likely going through the worst period of their life, and they need collaborative support. Support provides motivation. Motivation equals success.
We saw this recently when we participated with Ryan Nagy, an injured Middleburg Heights police officer, in the Wounded Heroes’ Trek of Hope. Together, we trekked the Annapurna circuit in Nepal.
Ryan’s successful return to work and a normal life following his above-the-knee amputation is a testament to teamwork along with BWC and finding ability in disability with a courageous attitude. His motivation, goal setting, collaboration and a strong support system at home and at work made the difference. Learn more about Ryan’s story by viewing this video.