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3. Understand return to work/stay at work challenges

Step 3 of 6 in getting ready to return to work:

 

It may be helpful for an employer to provide the healthcare provider with a description of the job demands (such as a job analysis) to aid the healthcare provider in assessing the cancer survivor’s work ability. Other information, such as a job demand analysis or workplace assessment, can assist the healthcare provider, employer and employee in understanding the cancer survivor’s work ability. Having this information available early may help determine whether plans should be made for job accommodations or if other jobs options need to be explored.

Employers and insurance providers may also fund referrals to specialists who observe and assess the cancer survivor’s abilities in the workplace and then make recommendations for accommodations. This option is often funded when an employee’s medical condition and function have stabilized,  but there may be benefits to doing this periodically if the employee’s condition has changed.

The employee’s family doctor may be able to provide information about work restrictions and limitations and may suggest accommodations. An oncologist’s opinion can be particularly helpful as they are knowledgeable about the short- and long-term side effects of cancer treatment and can offer advice on the impact on work. Sometimes physicians can refer their patients to rehabilitation specialists in the healthcare system such as occupational therapists, vocational rehabilitation counsellors, psychiatrists and physiatrists. These specialists can more precisely discuss the cancer survivor’s restrictions and limitations, as well as recommend supports they need to work or return. If the survivor does not have access to these specialists in the healthcare system, insurance providers may be open to funding such services if they facilitate return to work.

Next step:

Explore job accommodation ideas

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