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Understand the job characteristics


Analyzing the characteristics of a patient’s job will help the healthcare provider and patient understand the job demands. These characteristics can then be compared to the patient’s work functioning to determine the patient’s work readiness or what further rehabilitation is needed, and to recommend workplace accommodations.

Job characteristics include:

  • physical demands required for the job duties
  • temperaments required
  • psychological and cognitive demands
  • environmental variables involved in the job

If a job analysis is not available from the patient’s employer, we provide a helpful tool for analyzing job characteristics, the Cancer and Work Job Analysis tool, which the healthcare provider and patient can work through together. This tool can be used to analyze tasks in a job to which the patient is returning or a different job offered by the employee as an accommodation.

Use information from the National Occupation Classification system to provide some ideas for analyzing the patient’s job

The National Occupational Classification System (NOC) is a handbook describing requirements for over 900 Canadian jobs. Read the National Occupational Classification System manual online.

The handbook sorts job areas according to a 4-digit code. Each job profile covers physical requirements such as strength, limb coordination, body position, verbal, visual, colour discrimination and auditory. Each profile also covers other requirements such as aptitudes, interests, involvement with data/people/things, physical activities, environmental conditions, education/training indicators, career progression and work settings.

For more information, see the The Revised Handbook for Analyzing Jobs (PDF; Originally published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Training and Administration, 1991).