During all stages of return to work, encouraging patients and supervisors to monitor patients’ progress can be helpful along with providing updates to the healthcare team about any unanticipated challenges. During weekly monitoring meetings, employees and employers can address any concerns that arise and discuss next steps in the return to work plan.
For example, if the plan includes gradually increasing hours, the employee and supervisor will want to track how the employee did with the change during the previous week. Monitoring progress and reviewing the plan will help the employee and supervisor to revise the plan if necessary. In some cases, a physician will be called upon for further treatment, assessments or referrals to services such as physical rehabilitation.
Everyone at work needs to manage their expectations and allow for unexpected changes to the return to work plan. If your patient is struggling at work due to medical, cognitive or psychological challenges, communicating this concern through a physician’s note to the supervisor or human resources department is important. Such a note will raise the employer’s awareness that the plan is not working and needs to be modified. This type of collaboration and communication is key to successfully staying at work. For more tips, refer your patient to manage expectations at your workplace and talking with colleagues when you get back to work.
Other helpful resources
Talking with Your Boss and Coworkers (National Cancer Institute, USA)